Psalm 36 says “There is no dread of God before his (the wicked’s) eyes, for in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to discover and hate his sin.”
Proverbs 1 proclaims that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In Psalm 36 we see the practical outworking of that statement. When there is no fear of God in our lives, we put ourselves higher than we ought, and in putting ourselves up we fail to recognize the sin that resides in us.
It is like a guy who owns a car that he really loves. He bought that car brand new, he washes it daily, he puts the best gas in it, he is very proud of it…but he never takes it to a mechanic. He never has someone with more knowledge of the car look it over to prolong its health and prevent major repairs. When we determine that we are perfectly good on our own thank you very much, we are like the owner of that car. We have no one with greater knowledge looking things over and giving us a heads-up when trouble is brewing.
We need God in our lives to point out where are failing and then to help us overcome in those areas. It is painful to discover our areas of sinfulness. If we are truthful we would rather think or convince ourselves that everything is good, that we have everything under control. But the truth is God is very interested in us becoming more like Jesus (redeemed in every area of our lives) and that can’t happen when we ignore or remain ignorant of our sin.
The other interesting word in this verse from Psalm 36 is the word “hate”. I was listening to part of a sermon from David Platt in which he talks about our approach to sin in modern Christianity and how nonchalant we are about it. We fail to take into consideration the seriousness of sin. Sin leads to death and hell. Period. I’m not saying we should live in fear because of our sin, but I am saying that we need to take sin in our lives very seriously and work our hardest to root it out. It is dishonouring to God at the very least to call ourselves Christian and continue in sin; it is a grievance against the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives at the very worst. When push comes to shove, both are incredibly serious.
We should hate the sin in our lives, even when the sin is attractive (and believe me, I know how attractive sin can be!) But we must also recognize that sin creates separation between us and God. Not that God pulls away from us, he never does that. But in our sin we turn our back on God, we turn away from him in order to sin. We move, not God.
Instead, we need to humble ourselves, submit to God’s reign in our lives and allow him to show us our sin, develop a hatred for it, and help us root it out. It is in this process that the Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 8-9/1 Chronicles 18