The Two Counsellors

Today’s reading is Psalm 36.

While it is perfectly legitimate to pigeonhole the genre of a psalm as you start to study it, if you forget that the labels we attribute to psalms are not God-inspired, you can miss the trees for the forest. This happens for many with Psalm 36. Is it a wisdom psalm? Is it a praise psalm? Is it a lament? There are elements of each of these genres in this psalm. These attempts to pin down a genre cause some to suggest this psalm is a hodgepodge of multiple ancient psalms thrown together without unity.

That, however, misses the big picture of what is going on here. Once again, we are being taken back to the very first psalm. However, this time there is a twist.

In Psalm 1, the two people being counseled are contrasted: the blessed and the wicked. The blessed listen to God, the wicked listen to…well…other wicked people. In Psalm 36, the two counsellors are contrasted: God and sin.

In this psalm, David personifies sin much like Paul does in Romans 7. Sin counsels and leads. But sin’s counsel is deceptive and destructive. On the other hand, God also calls to David. David knows God’s counsel is anchored in steadfast love and faithfulness. He is no fool. He chooses God to be his counsellor. More than that, he chooses God to be his defender against Sin and those who heed its counsel.

In Psalm 1, we had a choice between ways. In Psalm 36, we have a choice between guides. Choose wisely!

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 36.

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Don’t Go Back

Today’s reading is 2 Peter 2.

It’s a disgusting picture. I admit it. A dog deciding to lick up its own vomit. Think about that. The food already made the dog sick once, but he just goes back to it. The mud already made the pig filthy once, but he just goes back to it. That is what it is like to go back to our sin. We came to Jesus because we determined sin was bad for us. It made us sick. It made us filthy. Now, having been made whole and clean by Jesus, we turn back to what made us sick and filthy to begin with. Yes, the dog returning to his vomit is a disgusting image. But that is exactly how disgusting it is for us to go back to the world and worldliness. Don’t go back. You’ll regret it; I promise.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Peter 3.

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