Psalm for the Day

Saturday, February 4, 2012

“An Oracle of Transgression”

“(For the music leader by David, the LORD's servant.)

Sinners don't respect God; sin is all they think about.   They like themselves too much to hate their own sins or even to see them.  They tell deceitful lies, and they don't have the sense to live right.

Those people stay awake, thinking up mischief, and they follow the wrong road, refusing to turn from sin.

 Your love is faithful, LORD, and even the clouds in the sky can depend on you.

Your decisions are always fair.  They are firm like mountains, deep like the sea, and all people and animals are under your care.

Your love is a treasure, and everyone finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.”   Psalm 36:1-7 CEV

Psalm 36 is a psalm of David written for the Chief musician or choir director. This means it was set to music and used at the Temple for worship.

The title of this Psalm is literally, “An Oracle of Transgression.”  In Hebrew, the first few words of a piece of writing is the title…so if we were to do that with our English translation, it would be “Transgression Speaks” and then the Psalm would begin with, “To the wicked deep in his heart…there is no fear of God before his eyes.”

I cannot imagine that a song titled, “An Oracle of Transgression” would be too popular of a song to sing.  The choirmaster was probably thinking, “Wow, thanks David…yeah, I’ll be sure to use this one!”

There is a great contrast between the way the ungodly thinks and acts, and the way God’s thoughts and actions are directed toward blessing the believer.

The word transgression itself simply means crossing over a line. But the description here in the first four verses goes so much further beyond just saying transgression is something bad because it breaks a rule. It really gets into how transgression works in the human person, how it comes about.

I think deep down we all know that being a Christian is not just about doing all the right things like some heaven checklist, even though it is really easy to treat it like that…..went to church – check, read my Bible – check, tried to help a person out – check.  The first part of the Psalm really digs in and dives deep into the psychology of sin, how it works itself out in the heart and in the mind…how a certain attitude toward God leads to certain actions against Him.

In verses 1-4 we see the Stages of Degeneration:

1) Self-deception.

2) Insensitivity to sin.

3) Inability to not sin.

4) Commitment to and delight in sin.

5) Inability to reject or hate sin.

People can go to church every week, read their Bible, worship and go through the motions of prayer or stand in a “stance” of piety and still not have a relationship with God.   They are still sinners in their heart and do not have a true “fear of God”.

This phrase; “fear of God” is not the normal Hebrew phrase one might expect but means literally, “the terror (or, dread) of God.”

Not only do the wicked fail to revere God rightly, they don’t even tremble in dread at the thought of His imminent judgment.

“They don’t know where to find peace.”
 “They have no fear of God at all.”
  Romans 3: 17-18 NLT


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