How The Wicked Miss The Joy of The LORD (Psalm 36)


1 To the Chief Musician. [A Psalm] of David the servant of the LORD. An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: [There is] no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity [and] when he hates. 3 The words of his mouth [are] wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise [and] to do good. 4 He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way [that is] not good; He does not abhor evil. 5 Your mercy, O LORD, [is] in the heavens; Your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds. 6 Your righteousness [is] like the great mountains; Your judgments [are] a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. 7 How precious [is] Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. 8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. 9 For with You [is] the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. 10 Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart. 11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12 There the workers of iniquity have fallen; They have been cast down and are not able to rise.

PSALM 36:1-12


Sometimes it seems like the bad guys are getting ahead. It seems like they have more money, possessions, power, privilege, charisma, stuff…. you know, the things that this world uses to figure out who is ahead. Some days it seems like they have it all. Some days it even seems like they have it all together. But they are missing one very important thing. If they don’t know the LORD, they are missing out on grace, love, kindness, goodness, blessing, and a whole lot more that comes with the LORD.

David is reflecting on the wicked who have set their heart against God. They may seem like they have a lot going for them, but they are missing the biggest blessing they could ever have. They may seem like they have it all together, but if they don’t have the LORD, it’s all going to fall apart. The wicked may have fun for a moment, but only the LORD can provide real and lasting Joy.

David then rightly goes into meditating on the character of God and everything the wicked are missing out on. The will never know what it’s like to have their sins forgiven. They will never know that free grace and mercy of God because they have hardened their hearts against him. They will never know what it is like to be loved by someone who never gives up on you,,,, They will never know.

And that should give us pause, especially on days when we are prone to want to be like them in some way. We don’t really want to be like them, if being like them means we don’t know God’s love and mercy. We don’t really want to dabble with the dark stuff if it means abandoning truth and grace. We don’t really want to pursue what they are pursing if it means we don’t get the LORD in the mix.

Knowing God is way better than anything the wicked could ever offer. Indeed what makes them wicked, is their failure to see the value of knowing God. The wicked are missing out on the joy of abundant life now and eternal life forever.


Father, I confess sometimes my heart is tempted to want the things of this world so much so that I would admire those who have all the things this world offers, but they don’t have you. Help me to see their severe poverty. Help me to know that what they hold on to is temporary and fleeting. Help me not to miss the riches of your grace and mercy. Help me to be grateful for the extreme kindness that has been shown to me in you. Help me note that they don’t have the one thing that matters. You O’ Lord are worthy of all my praise and affection. Thank you for the deep well of your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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