Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 181: Psalm 36



Psalm 36, along with Psalm 18, are the only two Psalms in which David refers to himself as a servant of the LORD. In what way was David God's servant? What does that mean?

“This psalm is a beautiful meditation on the blessings of God on the righteous who must live in a world that is characterized by unrighteousness. All around are people who do not believe in God and therefore live by different standards…” Allen Ross

I spent quite a bit of time meditating on the psalm and then found this article on Psalm 36 by Allen Ross that delved into much of what I thought about. I’ve linked it for those of you who want to read more. It’s quite long, but good reading.


This psalm is full of images worth pondering. Why don’t you choose one to meditate on today? Here’s what I’ve been thinking about:

“You give them drink from your river of delights, For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (NIV, vv. 8b – 9)

I LOVE these images. I thought of Genesis 1 and how light was created before the sun and stars – I don’t understand that, but I believe it. I think of light as coming from the sun and the stars, but apparently there is a source of light other than those. How little we know! I thought of Psalm 1 and how those who are godly are planted by a river, ever nourished and so able to bear fruit. I thought of John 1: “In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men.” I thought of John 12: “I (Jesus) have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” I thought of 1 Peter 2: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you many declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (That last verse even ties in the idea of being a servant! David, God’s servant, is doing what the verse in 1 Peter describes, long before the verse in 1 Peter was written.)

I recently visited my sister and her family in the country in Pennsylvania. They have a spring on their land. Clear, cold water continually springs up from the ground – a “river” of delight! Long ago someone tapped into the spring and funneled its water into pipes that flow to the house. There is so much water that there is overflow that runs through a spring house and into a pond! That spring came to mind as I thought about the fountain of life available to us in the LORD – everflowing and abundant and refreshing – and life giving - if I drink.

And He is light. God’s light enables us to see what is true and good, to understand spiritually. "In your light we see light" is in some senses a conundrum and maybe that is why I love it – As I trust God and live in the light He gives me I am able to see yet more light, to see more clearly.

I hope you will take some time today to meditate on part or all of this psalm.


We live in a world where many voices call us, advise us, and offer us help and fulfillment. Often they promise a kind of spiritual nourishment, mental refreshment, and “light,” apart from the life revealed by the Lord in His Word.

Where to I go for nourishment and for light? When I am tired or bewildered or troubled or discouraged do I go to God and His Word or do I seek for my answers in some other source?

What about you?


This psalm is so full of YOUR greatness and goodness, LORD, and I have only stuck a toe in its depths. Help us to find our life and light in You. Amen.

I also found this song of praise by Third Day which is based on part of the psalm. Listen to it if you want!
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