Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, September 12, 2013

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In this psalm, David contrasts human wickedness against the loving-kindness of God.  Verses 1-4 are general description of human wickedness. The wicked man rejects God and has "no fear of God before his eyes." The Hebrew word for "fear" as used here is pachad, meaning dread. The wicked man is so depraved that he does not dread God who can punish his evil deeds. He deceives himself with the idea that he will not be found out. His speech is wicked and full of lies and does not do what is wise and good. He makes evil plans as he lies in bed. Nothing he does is good as he never rejects anything evil.

Verses 5-9, with a striking contrast to the wickedness of man, describe God's character. His mercy reaches the heavens and His faithfulness extents to the clouds. While His righteousness towers like the mountains, His justice is like the depths of the sea. Because of His excellent loving-kindness, children of men put their trust "under the shadow of thy wings." This phrase is common in the Psalms and it suggests a mother bird protecting her young. Humans feast on the abundant food God provides and drink from the river of His goodness. God is the source of life (whether the atheist believes it or not), and it is in the light that comes from Him that humans see light. In other words, apart from God, all our understanding is only darkness.

Finally, the psalmist prays that God's favor be perpetual on those who know Him and that he may not be trampled by the proud sinner nor moved from the place in which God has established him. The last verse shows the end of an unrepentant evildoer--he lies fallen, thrown down and not able to rise.

Father, please revive and reform us so that we can reflect Your beautiful character. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Onaolapo Ajibade
Executive Secretary
West-Central Africa Division