“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.”
This Psalm is written as a result of David’s meditation upon what motivates people to sin. It seems to me, if we can understand what leads to sinning, we can avoid a lot of pitfalls. According to David, the number one reason for sinning, is “there is no fear of God.” To fear God means to be more concerned with pleasing God, than pleasing self or others. When a person puts God first in their life, and seeks to do what pleases Him, he will avoid much of what leads to sin.
Failing to fear God resulted in some of the worst decisions recorded in the Bible. King Saul trespassed on the role of the priest and offered unholy sacrifice; this sin cost him the kingdom. When asked why he did it, his response was he feared the people. Wanting to please others, instead of wanting to please the Lord, proved very costly to Saul. Pilate is guilty of perhaps histories greatest crime. He bears the weight of being the one man responsible for issuing the decree that sent Christ to the cross. By his own admission, he stated he had the power to crucify Jesus or to set Him free. Although Pilate knew Christ to be innocent, he delivered Him up to be crucified. The reason: he feared the people rather, than the Lord.
Solomon wrote: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
If we want to avoid the snares of sin, we must desire to please the Lord above all things. When it comes to making decisions, start your calculations by first considering what God would have you do. As a parent, I have instructed my children over and over, that there is one decision they can make that will determine most other decisions for them; decide that you want to please the Lord above all else. Once you have made the fear of the Lord your aim, you will find that His Word makes very clear to you how to avoid the sins you struggle with daily.
Questions for Psalm 36
- How are “the wicked” described in verses 1-4?
- Does that describe you at all?
- Look at verses 7-9, what is promised for those who choose to follow the Lord?