Breaking the Rules – Psalm 36

A few days ago a friend quoted “rules are meant to be broken.” We were teasing each other at the time, but the reality of obstinate human nature is still there. Notice how the psalmist describes the person who doesn’t respect God’s rules.

“Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart. There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit. He has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good. He does not reject evil” (Psalm 36:1-4 ESV).

What are we to do? In the previous verses I read that the wicked plots trouble, sets himself in a way that is not good, and doesn’t reject evil. This indicates he has exercised his choice, and that means he could go the other way as well. He can choose to act wisely and do good.

But is that enough? I don’t think it is. We need more than a lifelong struggle with sin. At this point the psalmist breaks out into praise, reminding us that God is big, his love is great, his righteousness is enduring – and he is the one who saves us. 

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“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, our faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God. Your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord” (verses 5-6).

by Kathy Sheldon Davis 

By Kathy Sheldon Davis

Kathy Sheldon Davis, contributing author of Jesus Talked to Me Today and a finalist for the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade award, lives with her husband, Jerry, in Oregon's fertile Willamette Valley. Kathy enjoys mentoring and editing for other writers, making strangers into friends, and celebrating holidays with her extended family. She has written for Pathways—Moments with God since 2016 and posts devotionals on her blog at kathysheldondavis.com .

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