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36. Psalm 36

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

2For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

3The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

4He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

5Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

6Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.

7How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

8They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

9For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

10O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

11Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

12There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

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4. He meditates iniquity upon his bed Here the sacred writer shows that the wickedness of the ungodly man is of a secret and very determined character. It sometimes happens that many, who otherwise are not disposed to wickedness, err and fall into sin, because occasion presents itself all on a sudden; but David tells us, that the wicked, even when they are withdrawn from the sight of men, and in retirement, form schemes of mischief; and thus, although there is not presented before them any temptation, or the evil example of others to excite them to it, they, of their own accord, devise mischief, and urge themselves to it without being impelled by any thing else. Since he describes the reprobate by this distinguishing mark of character, that they devise mischief upon their beds, true believers should learn from this to exercise themselves when alone in meditations of a different nature, and to make their own life the subject of examination, so that they may exclude all evil thoughts from their minds. The Psalmist next refers to their stubbornness, declaring that they set themselves in a crooked and perverse way; that is to say, they purposely and wilfully harden themselves in doing evil. Finally, he adds the reason of their doing this: They abhor not evil Wilfully shutting their eyes, they rush forward in their headlong course till they spontaneously yield themselves the slaves of wickedness. Let us now shortly state the contrast between the ungodly and the people of God, contained in the preceding verses. The former deceive themselves by flattery; the latter exercise over themselves a strict control, and examine themselves with a rigid scrutiny: the former, throwing loose the reins, rush headlong into evil; the latter are restrained by the fear of God: the former cloak or disguise their offenses by sophistry, and turn light into darkness; the latter willingly acknowledge their guilt, and by a candid confession are brought to repentance: the former reject all sound judgment; the latter always desire to vindicate themselves by coming to the open light of day: the former upon their bed invent various ways of doing evil; the latter are sedulously on their guard that they may not devise or stir up within themselves any sinful desire: the former indulge a deep and fixed contempt of God; the latter willingly cherish a constant displeasure at their sins.




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