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Psalm chapter 36

What does Psalm chapter 36 mean?

Sin is rooted deeply within the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9). That innate wickedness is the source of our evil actions (Matthew 15:18–19). Here, David notes that those who reject God find themselves overtaken by sin. They lose all respect for the Lord (Proverbs 1:7), and all fear of eternal consequences for their actions. Instead, they assume that what they do will never be punished, or never even found out. Sin is so addictive that those who turn from God find themselves constantly pursuing depravity, even when they try to sleep (Psalm 36:1–4).

In contrast, God's character is flawless and perfect. In mercy, God extends a measure of grace to all people and all animals. This is seen in His continued provision in nature. The Lord's graciousness is also expressed in His "steadfast love," or "lovingkindness," from the Hebrew term hesed. This passage uses the imagery of God's protection extending like the wings of a mother bird (Psalm 36:5–9).

David closes the psalm with an appeal for God to maintain that "steadfast love" to His people. David uses references to both hands and feet to depict the attacks of wicked people. He prays for God's protection against those assaults. The psalm ends with David picturing these enemies as already defeated, so utterly conquered that they can never regroup (Psalm 36:10–12).
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