Psalm 36 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 36)

Verse 1

[1] The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

No fear — When I consider the manifold transgressions of ungodly men, I conclude within myself, that they have cast off all fear of the Divine majesty.

Verse 2

[2] For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

Flattereth — He deceiveth himself with vain persuasions, that God does not mind his sins, or will not punish them.

Found — Punish, as the same phrase is used, Numbers 32:23.

Verse 3

[3] The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

Left off — Once he had some degrees of wisdom, but now he is become an open apostate.

Verse 4

[4] He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Deviseth — Freely, from his own inclination, when none are present to provoke him to it.

Verse 5

[5] Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Thy mercy — Mine enemies are cruel and perfidious, but thou art infinite in mercy, and faithfulness.

Heavens — Is infinite and incomprehensible.

Faithfulness — The truth both of thy threatenings against thine enemies, and of thy promises made to good men.

The clouds — Is far above our reach, greater and higher than we can apprehend.

Verse 6

[6] Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.

Mountains — Stedfast and unmoveable: eminent and conspicuous to all men.

Judgments — The executions of thy counsels.

Deep — Unsearchable, as the ocean.

Man — The worst of men; yea, the brute-beasts have experience of thy care and kindness.

Verse 7

[7] How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Loving-kindness — Though all thine attributes be excellent, yet, above all, thy mercy is most excellent, or precious and amiable.

Verse 8

[8] They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

Satisfied — Who trust in thee, as he now said.

Fatness — With those delightful provisions, which thou hast prepared for them in heaven.

The river — Which denotes both their plenty, and their perpetuity.

Verse 9

[9] For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Life — It is in God as in a fountain, and from him is derived to us.

But — Of that glorious and blessed, and endless life, which alone is worthy of the name.

Light — In the light of thy glorious presence, which shall be fully manifested, when we see thee face to face.

Light — Joy and comfort, and happiness: the word light is elegantly repeated in another signification; in the former clause it is light discovering, in this light, discovered or enjoyed.

Verse 11

[11] Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

The foot — Of my proud and insolent enemies.

Come — So as to overthrow me.

Verse 12

[12] There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

There — He seems as it were to point at the place, as if it were already done.