Genesis 38, Job 4, Psalm 36

Today we are scheduled to read Genesis 38, Job 4, Psalm 36.

This devotional is about Psalm 36.

After we sin, and the pleasure of it is gone, and the price tag comes due, it feels pretty stupid.

Before we sin, however, sin seems like a great idea. We delude ourselves into the think that we won’t get caught or we justify our disobedience by telling ourselves that our case is exceptional. Or maybe we don’t even think very far beyond the moment; the promise of sin clouds our thinking and keeps us from counting the cost.

David had a message for us in this Psalm. Sin is not only stupid, it is arrogant. Verse 2 says, “In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.” This is how our hearts deceive us. Your heart and mine tells you and me to ignore the truth of God’s word and the wisdom about life that is offered there and to trust our own judgment. When we choose to do wrong, we flatter ourselves into thinking that we have it all figured out.

Verses 5-9 sing to the Lord, praising him for his faithfulness, his righteousness, his justice, his love, his abundance, his life, and his light. Believing these truths about God can cause us to make righteous choices in our lives. When I want to do wrong but choose to do right, it is a choice to follow God’s wisdom over my own. It is an act of faith, believing that God’s ways will be better than following my own ways--no matter how flawless my plans seem or how brilliant my evil heart tells me I am.

Verse 12 calls us to look at those who’ve come before us. They’ve already made the moral choices that we are tempted to make. The believed the lies of their sin-cursed hearts. What happened to them? “See how the evildoers lie fallen—thrown down, not able to rise!”

Sin will please you for a moment and kill you in the end. God’s commands, however lead us to better things: “ People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (vv. 8-9).

Choose the light.

Psalms 36-38

Today’s reading from Psalms is Psalms 36-38.

Today’s Psalms encourage us to look to the Lord not to those who do evil. There is a world of evildoers around us; sometimes they even target us as the victims of their evil. David, who experienced this more than most believers, reminded himself of the Lord’s love, his faithfulness, and his justice (36:5-7) when he was afraid of those who meant to do him harm.

The truth of the matter, though, is that we are not innocent of evil ourselves. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is not the presence or absence of sin. The difference is whether you are trusting in the Lord or not. David acknowledged that we who love the Lord sometimes fail to follow him well; in 37:23-24 he wrote, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Did sin get the better of you this week? Are you feeling threatened by the sinfulness of others or discouraged by your own failures? Look to the Lord and call on him to sustain your faith with his faithfulness. Stumbling is part of the life of faith and will be until God has completed perfecting us. But don’t lose heart! The Lord will sustain you and establish your steps if you love him and look to him in faith.