Psalm 36: Sin’s Whisper & God’s Goodness

Whisper of Sin

“Sin whispers to the wicked deep within their hearts…” – Psalm 36:1 (NLT)

Sin doesn’t just “happen.” Sin begins, not with an action, event, or shout, but a whisper. There use to be a commercial that started with, “When you want to get someone’s attention, you whisper.” If you have ever tried lowering your voice, rather than raising it, you know how effective whispering can be. Sin wants to get our attention and does so subtly.

Subtle Control

I know the Psalmist refers to the wicked, but I am not immune from the whisper of sin. Sin’s whisper takes a hold of my heart, creating a life of its own. Sin’s icy grip closes tight on my heart and I find myself “set on a way that is not good” (verse 4, NRSV) and my slow descent started with a whisper.

Sometimes sin whispers doubts, sometimes desires, bringing envy, fear, jealousy, greed, lust, pride, thoughts and attitudes vying for my attention and control of my life. If sin would make some kind of frontal attack, I would see it coming, and, hopefully, be able to resist. Sin comes in slowly and quietly, not announcing its presence. Before I am even aware, sin has a foothold in my life. I don’t consider myself wicked, but I have heard the whisper of sin.

Looking Up

I’m glad the Psalmist doesn’t end focusing on sin and the wicked. He raises his gaze and catches a glimpse of the vastness of God’s love. He sees God’s faithfulness, justice, and care. He recounts how God shelters us, feeding us from his abundance and great delights. He basks in the Fountain of life and the light by which we see!

The Psalmist desires that all who love God experience God’s goodness, asking God to pour out his love on all who love him, and protect them from the wicked…could I pray that God would even protect me from myself? Sometimes, I get in my own way and I trip over myself…

The Psalmist knows those who continue to listen to Sin’s quiet whisper will be set against those whose eyes are attentive to God. The wicked will continue to “lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots” never seeking to do good. Sin never takes a day off.

God has already dealt with those bent on evil. The Psalmist celebrates their defeat! We can move forward knowing God prevails! We can move live abundantly knowing that Love prevails!

Abundant Delights

Sin, however, will continue trying to get our attention. Throughout this day, sin will attempt to whisper in our heart, perhaps causing us to question the love of God.

May you remain attentive to God’s goodness that surrounds you. When those, who give into Sin’s seductive whisper, try to “push” you around (verse 11) or trap you in their “sinful plots” (verse 4), may you find shelter in God’s unfailing love, finding delight in the One who is our “fountain of life, the light by which we see.” (verse 9).

God has loved you deeply and continues to give you good things, blessing you over and over again. His love is deeper than the ocean and higher than the heavens. He continues to feed you from his abundance and delights.

May God’s presence be your joy.

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