Psalm 36:1 “An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.”
[Fear of God means, among other things, to care deeply what God has to say, which leads to obeying Him. In the words of Psalm 34,13,14, fearing God means to “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.” The practical outworking of valuing His Word.
In contrast, the wicked person elevates his own intellect and emotions above God’s Word, deciding what is right and wrong himself—a dangerous and destructive practice, for we were created to follow God’s definition of what is right and wrong, and thereby be protected from much harm.]
Psalm 36:2 “For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”
[Two acquaintances of mine died shortly before I wrote this. Both of them had heard the gospel from me and others multiple times, but both felt they were just fine on their own. One said, “My conscience is clear.” That can only be so if you have very low standards of right and wrong.
This reminds me of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-21, who came to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to obtain eternal life?”
Jesus answered, “You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’
“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
What!!!??? Who was he kidding? He thought he had never lied, never was disobedient to his parents (dishonoring them), never looked at a woman with lust, never stole anything, never hated anyone? In order to convince himself of this, he had to have exceedingly low standards, rejecting God’s measure for his own to justify himself. No fear of God here.
The reality is that, when measured by God’s holy standards, every single person is guilty before God. To flatter ourselves by thinking we are fine on our own has only one result: entering an eternity without God, separated from all good forever.
How much better it is to lay aside our pride and self-centered thoughts, bowing to God’s beautiful and protective ways, living in the light of His Word, in the warmth of His love and the reality of true life, eternal life.
For those who have not yet bowed their knee to Christ and for those of us who have, to be teachable, humble, and fear God is to be wise, and leads only to what is good. Let’s all cultivate our fearing of God, praying daily, “Lord, I give you my will and take yours in its place.” Along with memorizing and frequently praying Psalm 34:13-14: “…keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.”]