This is Episode #171 and today we’ll read Psalms 36-39 together. Maybe just a touch of fire and brimstone. Just enough to set us on the right path.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #171 and today we’ll read Psalms 36-39 together. Maybe just a touch of fire and brimstone. Just enough to set us on the right path.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Human Wickedness and God’s Love
For the choir director. Of David, the Lord’s servant.
An oracle within my heart
concerning the transgression of the wicked person:
Dread of God has no effect on him.
For with his flattering opinion of himself,
he does not discover and hate his iniquity.
The words from his mouth are malicious and deceptive;
he has stopped acting wisely and doing good.
Even on his bed he makes malicious plans.
He sets himself on a path that is not good,
and he does not reject evil.
Lord, your faithful love reaches to heaven,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your judgments like the deepest sea.
Lord, you preserve people and animals.
How priceless your faithful love is, God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They are filled from the abundance of your house.
You let them drink from your refreshing stream.
For the wellspring of life is with you.
By means of your light we see light.
Spread your faithful love over those who know you,
and your righteousness over the upright in heart.
Do not let the foot of the arrogant come near me
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There! The evildoers have fallen.
They have been thrown down and cannot rise.
Instruction in Wisdom
Do not be agitated by evildoers;
do not envy those who do wrong.
For they wither quickly like grass
and wilt like tender green plants.
Trust in the Lord and do what is good;
dwell in the land and live securely.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act,
making your righteousness shine like the dawn,
your justice like the noonday.
Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for him;
do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way,
by the person who carries out evil plans.
Refrain from anger and give up your rage;
do not be agitated — it can only bring harm.
For evildoers will be destroyed,
but those who put their hope in the Lord
will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked person will be no more;
though you look for him, he will not be there.
But the humble will inherit the land
and will enjoy abundant prosperity.
The wicked person schemes against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him.
The Lord laughs at him
because he sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword and strung the bow
to bring down the poor and needy
and to slaughter those whose way is upright.
Their swords will enter their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
The little that the righteous person has is better
than the abundance of many wicked people.
For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord supports the righteous.
The Lord watches over the blameless all their days,
and their inheritance will last forever.
The Wicked Will Perish
They will not be disgraced in times of adversity;
they will be satisfied in days of hunger.
But the wicked will perish;
the Lord’s enemies, like the glory of the pastures,
will fade away —
they will fade away like smoke.
The wicked person borrows and does not repay,
but the righteous one is gracious and giving.
Those who are blessed by the Lord will inherit the land,
but those cursed by him will be destroyed.
A person’s steps are established by the Lord,
and he takes pleasure in his way.
Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed,
because the Lord supports him with his hand.
I have been young and now I am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned
or his children begging for bread.
He is always generous, always lending,
and his children are a blessing.
Wait For The Lord
Turn away from evil, do what is good,
and settle permanently.
For the Lord loves justice
and will not abandon his faithful ones.
They are kept safe forever,
but the children of the wicked will be destroyed.
The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it permanently.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
his tongue speaks what is just.
The instruction of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not falter.
The wicked one lies in wait for the righteous
and intends to kill him;
the Lord will not leave him
in the power of the wicked one
or allow him to be condemned when he is judged.
Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land.
You will watch when the wicked are destroyed.
I have seen a wicked, violent person
well-rooted, like a flourishing native tree.
Then I passed by and noticed he was gone;
I searched for him, but he could not be found.
Watch the blameless and observe the upright,
for the person of peace will have a future.
But transgressors will all be eliminated;
the future of the wicked will be destroyed.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,
their refuge in a time of distress.
The Lord helps and delivers them;
he will deliver them from the wicked and will save them
because they take refuge in him.
Prayer of a Suffering Sinner
A psalm of David to bring remembrance.
Lord, do not punish me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has pressed down on me.
There is no soundness in my body
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have flooded over my head;
they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.
My wounds are foul and festering
because of my foolishness.
I am bent over and brought very low;
all day long I go around in mourning.
For my insides are full of burning pain,
and there is no soundness in my body.
I am faint and severely crushed;
I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
Lord, my every desire is in front of you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart races, my strength leaves me,
and even the light of my eyes has faded.
My loved ones and friends stand back from my affliction,
and my relatives stand at a distance.
Those who intend to kill me set traps,
and those who want to harm me threaten to destroy me;
they plot treachery all day long.
I am like a deaf person; I do not hear.
I am like a speechless person
who does not open his mouth.
I am like a man who does not hear
and has no arguments in his mouth.
Do Not Abandon Me
For I put my hope in you, Lord;
you will answer me, my Lord, my God.
For I said, “Don’t let them rejoice over me —
those who are arrogant toward me when I stumble.”
For I am about to fall,
and my pain is constantly with me.
So I confess my iniquity;
I am anxious because of my sin.
But my enemies are vigorous and powerful;
many hate me for no reason.
Those who repay evil for good
attack me for pursuing good.
Lord, do not abandon me;
my God, do not be far from me.
Hurry to help me,
my Lord, my salvation.
The Fleeting Nature of Life
For the choir director, for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
I said, “I will guard my ways
so that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle
as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was speechless and quiet;
I kept silent, even from speaking good,
and my pain intensified.
My heart grew hot within me;
as I mused, a fire burned.
I spoke with my tongue:
“Lord, make me aware of my end
and the number of my days
so that I will know how short-lived I am.
In fact, you have made my days just inches long,
and my life span is as nothing to you.
Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor.
Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow.
Indeed, they rush around in vain,
without knowing who will get them.
“Now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the taunt of fools.
I am speechless; I do not open my mouth
because of what you have done.
Remove your torment from me.
Because of the force of your hand I am finished.
You discipline a person with punishment for iniquity,
consuming like a moth what is precious to him;
yes, every human being is only a vapor.
“Hear my prayer, Lord,
and listen to my cry for help;
do not be silent at my tears.
For I am here with you as an alien,
a temporary resident like all my ancestors.
Turn your angry gaze from me
so that I may be cheered up
before I die and am gone.”
I see more prophecy in those last lines of Psalm 36. And right there is our hope. When we turn on the TV or see the same kind of evil that was breaking David’s heart, our tendency might be to ask – again like David – “When, Lord? When?” But verse 12 affirms that we have not misplaced our hope when we follow Jesus Christ. Have the wicked fallen? No. Not yet. But God’s word tells us that Jesus will come again.
I think Revelation 11:18 speaks to this and to those who will reject His gift of grace: The nations were angry, but your wrath has come. The time has come for the dead to be judged and to give the reward to your servants the prophets, to the saints, and to those who fear your name, both small and great, and the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth. Those who prefer to stand before God’s judgement on their own merit will not fare well. They will be thrown down and unable to rise.
And then there is Psalm 37:4. Definitely among the Hit Parade of misquoted and misunderstood scriptures. It does say, Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. But don’t be surprised if, by taking delight in the Lord, the desires of your heart are changed.
Do Not Be Deceived
The rest of Psalm 37 is sage advice. I’ve talked about this with you before. We will see the wicked prosper. Or at least look like they’re prospering. But do not be deceived, God is not mocked. In God’s economy, they will not stand. Keep your eye on the prize, my friend. Do not turn to the left or to the right.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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