February 08 2023
Today, Wednesday February 08
“They Are Abundantly Satisfied”
“Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
Psalm 36 begins with David looking at the corruption of the human heart and it is not a very pretty picture. He notices that the evil that is let loose from the heart begins with no fear of God and His righteous judgments. In other words, the wicked person has no fear of the consequences of his evil deeds or he thinks he can get by with it. He feeds himself on his own flattery, thinking more of himself than he should. He justifies his sins, makes excuses for them, or blames them on others. Then he “breathes out lies” and deceit, and becomes a slave to his own sins, and even in bed at night can’t even think of anything else,. He is living a lie not a life!
But David didn’t keep contemplating the sinners and on the dark, dismal, and discouraging world of evil and debauchery and he did a wise thing. He started focusing on the glories of the Lord. Instead of looking at the heart of the wicked that is filled with corruption he turned his eyes upward to look on the characteristics of the heart of God. Knowing the character and attributes of God is essential and a key to a balanced Christian life. These five verses (vv. 5-9) are a full course on systematic theology.
Notice these phrases in just three of these verses (vv. 5-7): “Your mercy, Your faithfulness, Your righteousness, Your judgments, Your preservation, Your lovingkindness”! Mercy (vv. 5, 7, 10) is translated "lovingkindness" in the New American Standard Bible and "love" in the New International Version. Some translations use "covenant love" or "steadfast love."
Mercy and faithfulness are often joined (Psalms 57:3; 61:7; 85:10; 86:15), as are righteousness and justice (Psalms 33:5; 89:14; 97:2). God's mercy and faithfulness are as limitless as the skies, His righteousness as firm as the mountains, and His judgments (justice) as inexhaustible and mysterious as the ocean depths (see Rom. 11:33-36). Yet He takes care of people and animals on the earth! “You preserve man and beast.” What a gracious and generous God! His mercy is priceless, for it took the death of His Son to accomplish salvation for a lost world (1 Peter 1:18-19).
When you know and think on this, it is no wonder that “the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings (v. 7). One translation says it this way, “They take refuge under the shadow of Your wings”. The "refuge" is a reference to the Holy of Holies in the sanctuary of the Lord, especially as we notice that David mentions God's house in verse 8. If so, then the "wings" are those of the cherubim on the mercy seat of the ark (Ex. 37:9). (Psalms 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; Ruth 2:12; Heb. 10:19-25.) God's "shadow" offers us better protection than the world's armies!
We see this again in Psalm 90:1-4, the image is that of the mother hen protecting her young with her outspread wings. (See Matt. 23:37 and Luke 13:34.) And just like the priests who received portions of some sacrifices for their own use and would feast in the sanctuary (Lev. 6:14-23; 7:11-38; Deut. 18:1-5; 1 Sam. 2:12-17), David sees all of God's people enjoying a feast in God's house where there is an abundance of food and water (Psalms 63:1-5; 65:4).
The image of the Lord's satisfying river is found often in Scripture: Psalm 46:4; Isaiah 8:5-8; Jeremiah 2:13-19; Ezekiel 47; John 4:1-15 and 7:37-39; Revelation 22:1. The word "pleasures" in verse 8 comes from the same Hebrew root as "Eden" in Genesis 2 and 3, and it means "delight." Man sinned and was cast out of Eden, but through faith in Christ, we have access into God's presence and can delight in His blessings. The river in verse 8 reminds us of the rivers in Eden (Gen. 2:8-14). Life and light go together (v. 9; Psalm 49:19; 56:13; John 1:4; 8:12), and the Lord is the source of both.
Yes, my friend, the wicked can only feed on flattery from themselves and the world (v. 2), but the righteous feed on the Lord Jesus, “His mercy, His faithfulness, His righteousness, His judgments, His preservation, His lovingkindness”, and all His rich blessings, and are always “abundantly satisfied”!
What river or well are you drinking from today? What or Who are you feeding on today?