Psalm 36: Good versus Evil

Why might it be difficult to understand how people can do such terrible things? What makes it easy?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:1 To the minister of music, a song of David, God’s servant.
I understand how wicked people can do such terrible things. They have no respect for God.
King James
Psalm 36:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord.> The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

What makes it easier to find fault in others and not ourselves? Why might it be easier to find fault in ourselves?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:2 They see themselves as much better than they really are, finding fault with others but not themselves.
King James
Psalm 36:2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

How do people justify their actions when they know they are wrong?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:3–4 Their words are deceptive. Lacking wisdom and a desire to do right, they encourage strife. They lie awake at night to figure out ways to cheat others, no matter how wrong such actions might be.
Romans 1:28 Since they don’t want to admit God’s existence, they develop perverted beliefs so they can do whatever indecency feels good to them.
1 Timothy 4:2 With dead consciences, they embrace and promote lies as if they were the truth.
King James
Psalm 36:3–4 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Love means different things to different people. How might that affect their perception of God’s love?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:5–7 Lord, your lovingkindness reaches everywhere, to the clouds and beyond. The highest mountain peaks can’t attain your level of righteousness. Your judgments to preserve the life of people and animals reach below the deepest ocean.
Your love is priceless, God. No wonder, then, that people trust you to protect them.
King James
Psalm 36:5–7 Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

If God loves everyone, why don’t all people receive his blessing?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:8–10 From the abundance on your table, they will eat until they can hold no more. You keep filling their cups with the most delightful drinks.
You are the source of light and life.
Keep pouring your lovingkindness upon those whose motives and actions are right.
King James
Psalm 36:8–10 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

What should we do when prideful people walk all over us?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:11 Don’t let prideful people walk all over me. Don’t let the wicked push me around.
King James
Psalm 36:11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

For a very long time, Satan has been roaming the earth, seeking whom he may devour. If evil has stood for so long, how can we say it cannot stand for long?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 36:12 Those who do evil cannot stand for long. They are struck down and cannot get up.
King James
Psalm 36:12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.