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PSALM 36:5-7

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

 

Back in 2007 we studied this Psalm, verses 5-10 in fact. But our current journey through this precious paragraph takes a slightly different approach. It's coming from a different perspective.

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

Well, I'm in London, November 13, 2009.

The flight went great!

Thanks for praying!

                                                                           --- Brother Bagwell

 

Now I want us to study a Passage from the Psalms.

It's great!

The Lord showed it to me a few days ago.

"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings." Psalm 36:5-7

This is all about our Lord, His character!

What He is.

And then what he does.

And then yet again, what we can enjoy because of what God is and does!

I'll explain more as we get further into the Text.

But for today notice this.

All these beautiful statements about God, loaded with word pictures as they are, are set in contrast to the Psalm's first four verses.

Stark contrast!

The opening paragraph is about the wicked man!

Look.

"The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil." Psalm 36:1-4

Wow!

Against that dark portrait of ungodliness, comes our Text! The brightness and glory and love and power of God!

We, I believe, will enjoy this study!

From London, nonetheless!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, GOD'S MERCY AND THE HEAVENS:

My motive for studying this paragraph is pure. At least I think so. It is God's inspired Word, of course, Psalm 36:5-7.

But since I'm in London, having flown here of course, I wanted to be concentrating on a Bible Text that especially spoke to my heart. Sort of a personal thing, I guess.

And what better than a few verses that mention the sky, the clouds, the sea, the mountains and even the idea of wings! All first hand observations from the window seat of any jet today.

Maybe the Lord understands things like this. Jesus Himself pondered Scripture in a practical way, also speaking of the sky, clouds, sea, mountains, and even wings!

If I am to "talk" God's Word all the time, seems like such "adaptations" are in order. If I were going to Alaska or Antarctica, I might study some "snow" verses, or at least some about the "cold." Here's that "all the time" passage. "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7, just about every waking hour of the day!

Let's then discuss our first clause, the opening words of Psalm 36:5-7. "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens."

God's Mercy is so "high," so "out of sight," so "ubiquitous," that it is here compared to the "heavens!"

First, what is "mercy/"

It's spelled "chesed," or as some say, "hesed."

It means God's LOVE, or a branch of it. His kindness is involved, too. But in Hebrew etymology the noun always seems to involve favor shown from a superior person to an inferior one!

It's hierarchical!

From Top to bottom!

From King to people!

From Lord to subjects!

From Teacher to students!

From Jesus, the Saviour, to Brother Bagwell, the sinner! The ex-sinner now, by God's amazing Grace!

So, when I was flying Thursday evening, from 5:30 Atlanta time until 6:45 or so London time, the next morning, I was literally "in the heavens." The "first" heaven only, of course, but nonetheless the "heavens!" Paul taught us that there are "three" of them, three heavens! "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one caught up to the third heaven." 2nd Corinthians 12:2, just to be specific.

The first heaven is where the birds fly, and planes. The second is where the planets and stars and comets traverse. And the third is the very abode of Almighty God!

So, from 31,000 feet and then from 34,00 feet, never any higher than that, I thought about God's Mercy! That's God's condescending Love, God's never-meet-anyone-too-low Grace! God's "whosoever-will" Dragnet! Yes, truly, "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens."

The very noun "heavens," in Hebrew "shamayim," means a "lofty or high place." The Psalmist never envisioned a speeding jetliner, nearing the stratosphere, but the meaning still holds anyway!

And yet, even at seven miles up in the air, I had barely scratched the surface of God's "heavens!"

Yet His Mercy goes on!

Upward and outward and onward!

Next time you, dear friend, look up, think of it!

Meditate a minute on God's Mercy!

The very expanse around us, no matter how distant, the sky and everything beyond, far past the moon and sun and even most distant planet in our solar system, all that is a mere "sermon," an "object lesson," about ... the Mercy of our Heavenly Father!

The mercy of God is mentioned here in Psalm 36, obviously, our Text, but it is really the main focus of Psalm 136! Twenty six times it says, "For His Mercy endureth forever!"

Wow!

Maybe today I should thank Him, the Lord Jesus, twenty-six times, once for every hour of the day plus two more, thank him for His awesome Mercy!

Without it I would be on the way to Hell.

Or already there!

The Lord Who could have condemned me, instead loved me and saved me and filled me and is preparing a place for me, all facets of His ineffable Mercy!

Now, for all of you reading here today, I'd like to pray a prayer on your behalf. Using the first occurrence of the word "mercy" in the whole Bible. "Lord magnify Thy Mercy today toward _____________." Put your name here in the blank, please. And Genesis 19:19, by "magnify," means "to make powerful," once even "to make greater!"

And you know who asked for such abundant mercy, such "multiplied" Mercy? This will surprise you, Lot! Backslidden, but still righteous, Lot! His very words: "Behold now, Lord, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life ...."

Magnified Mercy!

We all need it today!

And it's available!

Praise the Lord!

The God of all Mercy Paul called Him!

At least He came close to calling Him that, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort." 2nd Corinthians 1:3, I rest my case.

"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens." 

Thank You!

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, GOD'S FAITHFULNESS AND THE CLOUDS:

Today's portion of Scripture is very interesting.

And I might not have seen its uniqueness had it not been for something Dr. Alexander Maclaren wrote once. Yes, the Dr. Maclaren whose hometown I visited yesterday, Manchester, England.

This is our Text, just one clause: "O Lord, thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5

Yesterday we saw God's Mercy, today His faithfulness!

His Mercy was said to be so massive, so plentiful, that it mounted unto the heavens!  Now His Faithfulness is in view. And it reacheth the very "clouds!"

Here's the paradox, or at least an unexpected comparison. Something as stable as God's very Faithfulness, used in the same sentence with something as unstable as a sky full of clouds!

Wow!

The noun for faithfulness is "emunah" in Hebrew. It literally means something that's "firm, steady, trustworthy!"

Something immoveable!

But the clouds, "shachaq," meaning that which is "dust," or even very "thin," are certainly not immoveable! These are not even thick storm clouds, wispy light fog is implied! Up in the sky.

But God often juxtaposes such strange things. When Jesus compared Himself to a mother hen, trying to gather her little chicks under its wings, that's a similar word picture as we have here today.

"Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5, again.

One thing you see when you're flying, often, is water vapor, lots of it too. In the form of clouds! Tons of water! I read once that there is enough water in the sky, at any given time, very fine water droplets, to equal the amount of water that's in the Mississippi River right now, the whole River!

Amazing!

Comparatively speaking, that's a lot of Faithfulness!

Rock solid Faithfulness, one of God's traits ... and ever changing, insubstantial clouds, in the same verse!

"Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5, once more.

But then again, though one picture, the clouds, is being compared to the other, God's Faithfulness ... that does not mean they are necessarily alike!

They might be used as opposites, to some degree anyway.

Clouds are here today, gone tomorrow. Maybe even here this hour, gone the next! God Faithfulness is eternal, absolute!

Well, either way, next time I'm up in the air, say at 31,000 feet, like Thursday evening on the way to England, "in the clouds," I plan to meditate on God's Faithfulness. Just like the Psalmist did here.

And next time I look up, as here from this motel room today, and see clouds, plenty of them, the sky completely overcast, I'm also going to think about the Lord's Faithfulness!

This can work!

Using the clouds as a memory prompt!

Clouds, remember God's Faithfulness!

If stacked up in a pile, God's faithful acts, His unwavering deeds, would reach into the sky! Way up there!

To the clouds!

Some of those clouds can reach 50,000 feet, too!

World-wide!

Everywhere!

And just how faithful is God?

Let's let the dying Joshua tell us: "And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." The testimony of a lifetime, Joshua 23:14.

God has not failed once!

Let's rejoice in that!

Let the Prophet Malachi say something, quoting God Himself. "For I am the LORD, I change not." That's faithfulness, Malachi 3:6.

"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." Paul here just said that the God Who saved us will also do everything else He ever promised as well! 1st Thessalonians 5:24

God is so steady, so very immoveable, so dependable, that His Very Name, one of of them anyway, is "Faithful!"

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." See? Jesus is called Mr. Faithful and True! Revelation 3:14, in fact He is calling Himself these things!

Did He say that He would save you?

Then, He is true to His Word!

After all, "It is impossible for God to lie," Hebrews 6:18 word for word! And Titus 1:2 adds, "God can not lie," absolutely!

Faithful!

And this too is surprising. Even we we are unfaithful, God remains Himself, faithful and unwavering! "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." 2nd Timothy 2:13

Unto the clouds, that's an immeasurable amount of Faithfulness!

Thank you, Lord.

Let's worship Him a while. As did Jeremiah when he wrote the following words. "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-22

Praise the Lord!

The Faithful Lord!

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." We all can say "Amen" to Hebrews 13:8.

Faithful!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE MOUNTAINS:

The portion of Scripture that's ours to enjoy today is powerful. And true! Just one clause, though.

O Lord, the Psalmist says, "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." Just that, Psalm 36:6.

So far our Text has talked about the heavens and the clouds, both of which I have seen in abundance while on this trip. I rode eight hours in the heavens and saw tons of clouds! "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5

But one thing I have not seen in England is mountains! "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." 

I don't think they have any, not of any consequence anyway.

But in Jerusalem, in the Holy Land, where the Psalmist lived, they sure did! And the mountains played a part in picturing the character of God. His omni-presence, for example. "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever." Psalm 125:2

Today we are being told God's "righteousness" is like those towering mountains! "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." 

It's only natural to ask, "How so?"

First, to define our terms.

"Righteousness" translates "tzsedaqah," from a root word, "tzsadaq," meaning "just or cleansed or clear." Without blemish, really.

Practically we are being told that God possesses "sinlessness."

He has never done wrong!

Never!

Either in Heaven.

Or on earth!

No mistakes in His pre-creation administration!

No slip-ups Creation week!

No shortcomings during the whole Old Testament period.

And even when God came to earth, Jesus and His incarnation and virgin birth, no iniquity was found in Him either, ever!

Though men looked carefully, trying to spot something!

God is righteous!

Jeremiah says God is named that, "Righteousness!"

If God has done no wrong internationally, universally even, then we can rest assured of this, He will do no wrong in our lives either!

If He can justly care for the big things, galaxies and such, He can certainly keep your life and mine fixed, without Him making an error in administration!

If He's righteous in Heaven!

He righteous on earth!

If He's a perfect God when around Michael and Gabriel and the Cherubim and Seraphim, all angels ... He will still be a perfect God when He's riding up or down the road with you or me!

Or when I am flying across the Atlantic Ocean.

And to this Psalmist, God is so perfect, so righteous, so pure, so clean, that His "righteousness" collectively reaches as "high as the mountains!"

O God, "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains."  Psalm 36:6

Mountains, "harar," in Hebrew, can means "hills" as well as "mountains," and sometimes does.

So the Holy Spirit qualifies these mountains by calling them "great." That's not the usual word for "largeness" either. This time we have "el," which literally means "God like!" For some reason God's Name "el" is used here, in its elongated form "Elohim!"

Of course the word "el" can also mean "powerful."

The mountains are like our God in some way, especially in terms of His righteousness!

Mountains, rock solid!

So is God's rightness! I spelled it that way for a reason, His rightness!

Mountains, tall and above the clouds, at times.

In like manner, that very tall is God's Righteousness!

Mountains are also immoveable!

So is God's Holiness, His purity!

Get it?

Make you own list, building upon these few.

"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains."

Those of you who live near the mountains, or plan to visit them soon, or have just been there seeing the leaves, ponder this verse today.

God is that righteous!

You can trust Him with your life!

He will do you no wrong.

You can trust Him with you week, your day, even the next few minutes!

He is sure to lead you in the right path!

He can do no other.

"Righteousness, mountains," today's words, and now within my heart, peace and joy and the Holy Ghost!

Thank you, Lord.

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, GOD'S JUDGMENTS AND THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA:

On the way home yesterday, time and time again, I thought of our Verses. Our Text for this week is Psalm 36:5-7.

God's Mercy is in the heavens!

His Faithfulness reaches unto the clouds!

His Righteousness is like the great mountains!

And now today, we glance at His Judgments! They are compared to the depths of the ocean!

You see, I flew over all these during that record-setting, for me anyway, eight hour flight. Nearly nine, I believe the Captain said. It usually takes longer to fly westbound, rather than eastbound, because of the prevailing headwinds.

Yes, I was a first hand observer of the heavens, the clouds, the mountains, and the sea! All of which reminded the Psalmist of God, one or another of His Traits! Attributes, the theologians call them.

"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep." Our Text, so far, Psalm 36:5-6, with verse 7 beginning tomorrow, Lord willing.

But today we must study that last clause in verse six, still addressed to the Lord, "Thy judgments are a great deep."

Now the noun "judgments" is "mishpat." It's from a verb that means "to issue a sentence, a verdict," as in a court of law. It also can mean "to punish!" And eleven times in the King James Version it's translated "ordinance." His firmly established "ways."

By a "great deep" is meant, I think, "tehom" in Hebrew, "an abyss." It's from a verb that means "to be astir, to be in a stir, to roar!" Ocean like! I can only find this noun one other place in the Bible, Psalm 135:6. "Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places." Wow, here the "seas" and the "deep places" are listed as parallels, exact synonyms.

God's righteous doings, His very Judgments, are sometimes hard to explain. Often they are criticized by a lost world.

Our Text just told us that some of God's Acts are indeed, quite "deep" to fathom!

Unknown to us!

The Bible itself admits to having "dark sayings," Psalm 78:2.

Or, "things hard to be understood," 2nd Peter 3:16.

Things like "killing all the Canaanite nations," during Joshua's day. "Genocide," the Bible haters call it.

Things like "stoning that Jewish man to death who was picking up sticks on the Sabbath day," back in Numbers 15:32-36. "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses."

Wow!

Or Hell itself, about which Jesus often preached! A place of fire and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, forever! Outer darkness! Where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched!

God's "judgments!"

They are like the great depths of the seas!

The beds of the Oceans, we humans have not yet been there, not in total freedom! Isn't that amazing? We can go thousands upon thousands of miles into the air, to where air does not even exist really! But we cannot do that when it comes to downward travel! Too much pressure, too much weight of the water itself! There are things down there we may never observe, not first hand anyway.

Dark, unknown, yet still created by Almighty God!

And, when we learn the whole story, those "deep" things will be beautiful, too!

Just like God's heavens are, and His clouds and mountains too!

God, even in His judgments, does nothing wrong!

And is still a God of mercy!

Think with me. If "Sin" is not occasionally restrained, judged, even obliterated, the very existence of godliness, purity, holiness, things like these, would be threatened!

What would earth be without its great oceans, seas, "deep places?" Some scientists say earth could not even exist without them!

And where would Christianity be without God's occasional, regular, even if strong, Judgments?

His judgments even, are "true and righteous," an expression used of them four different times in the Bible!

Lord, we do not question Thee.

You are Righteous, even before you are Judge!

We saw the mountains before we considered the deep places. In this Psalm, our Text this week. Righteousness before judgment!

And God, though we may never understand them all, Your harsh yet loving Judgments, we know they exist for a reason.

And they are amazing too!

Some day, what we do not know now, will be explained!

By the Creator, Redeemer, Judge of earth, the Lord Jesus Christ, our precious Saviour!

 Next time I go to the sea, or just fly over one, I'll again remember, "Thy judgments are a great deep."

Amen!

One could study the seas the rest of his or her life, and just begin to learn of their treasures. I am equally sure that's true of the judgments of God!

All He does is amazing!

And He is my God!

I am overwhelmed with gratefulness this morning!

He saved me!

I want to love Him and praise Him and thank Him forever more!

Will someone join me?

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, WHAT GOD DOES:

It's just a short sentence.

But so very true!

The next clause in Psalm 36:5-7, our Text.

"O LORD, thou preservest man and beast." These words are addressed to the great God Whose Mercy is "in the Heavens." And Whose Faithfulness "reaches the clouds." And Whose Righteousness is compared to  "the great mountains." And Whose Judgments are "a great deep."

I think we are being told this. If God is "A" and "B" and "C" and "D," referring to the clauses I just listed, then no doubt ... He also "preservest man and beast!"

Here it is, all together, for the sake of unity and coherence. "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast." With Psalm 36:7 still to come.

You could call this sequence of thoughts a "cause and effect" scenario. Here are the "causes," God's Mercy and Faithfulness and Righteousness and Judgments. Now, here is the effect, one of them anyway, God thus preserves us, men and women and boys and girls, us humans, plus the animals too!

"O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast."

The verb here is "yasha," one of the greatest words in all the Old Testament! It's the basic word for "being saved!" In fact, "yasha" can be seen and heard in the Name of our Saviour, Jesus! In Hebrew He is "yehoshua," meaning "Jehovah saves!"

It then takes a combination of God's Mercy and Faithfulness and Righteousness and Judgments to save a lost soul!

Wow!

God saves or preserves, using "yasha," meaning "to deliver, to rescue, to liberate, to defend!" Yes, all these glorious things!

It's an "incomplete" verb too, its action. Thus, grammatically speaking, God just keeps on saving and saving and saving us!

We are saved all the time!

He never "quits" saving us!

Once we have been born-again!

Born again people can be assured of Heaven!

That is, as long as Jesus is alive!

And don't worry, He will never die again!

"O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast."

And that noun "man" is "adam," human beings, persons, literally suggesting our very origin, "from the dust of the earth!" Hint, the dirt from which we are made is "red," the root meaning of "adam" anyway.

So, gloriously, "adam," humankind, means both men and women, either can be saved! Because of Jesus!

"O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast."  A salvation Verse right in the middle of Psalm 36, Hallelujah!

But "yasha" also has a "lower" meaning. It can mean "to keep safe," just on an earthly level.

That's why God is also said to "save" the beasts as well.

That's also why man is listed first, then the lowly beasts follow!

I can hear the evolutionists, the Darwin followers now, "Men are animals!" This they believe, just animals!

Not so!

Men and women are created "in the image of God."

Animals are not!

God saves the lost souls of men and women!

God just protects and oversees and even feeds the animal world.

I'm glad He does!

In that order, too!

"He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." Psalm 147:9, word for word.

He saves us.

He oversees the animals.

Because He is God, a merciful and faithful and righteous and just God!

What He is determines what He does!

That's true of us all, isn't it?

That's why we need to better learn God's character, so we can better understand God's works!

I'm saved eternally, because of Who and What God is!

Now, let me again put it all together, so far. "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast."

To which we all should be crying, "Thank You, Lord!"

Mercy!

Faithfulness!

Righteousness!

Judgment!

Then, Salvation!

No wonder Jonah said it, "Salvation is of the LORD."

Jonah 2:9, so true!

Preserved!

Saved!

Heaven bound!

Washed in His Blood!

Eternally secure!

Because of Who God is!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, BACK TO HIS KINDNESS, which is excellent:

We are nearing the end of our Text. And the Passage concludes much like it started!

At the first God's Mercy was mentioned. If you remember, it was so bountiful that it was said to be "in the heavens!" Tons of Mercy! Mounds of Mercy! Mercy that endureth forever!

At the last we find today's meditation, "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!"

Now initially no similarity appears.

Our King James translators loved to use synonyms when the Hebrew Text kept repeating the same word. That's good, too. It keeps a paragraph flowing smoothly, without lots of repetition. It makes a portion of Scripture prettier as it is read, even.

But still, that word "lovingkindness" in today's clause is "hesed," the very same word that is used by the Holy Spirit for "Mercy" back at the beginning of the pericope.

Here it is in print.

Start: "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens." With "hesed" being used as "Mercy."

End: "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!" With "hesed" also being used as "Lovingkindness."

Wow!

Anytime God begins and ends a Text with the same word, or phrase, or thought, He does so for emphasis.

Sort of like Jesus' "Verily, Verily" statements, they exist in double form to highlight a special truth!

God's "hesed" is in the heavens!

God's "hesed" is excellent!

This week's Scripture can thus be summarized like this: "God is good, real good, immeasurably good!"

"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!"

Everything else contained in these verses is an explanation, a commentary, an illustration of that, of God's Mercy, of His Lovingkindness, of His Goodness!

A Love and Kindness that is of such high quality that the Word of God describes it as being "excellent!"

That's "yaqar," a word only occurring 36 times in all the Bible! It means "precious, costly, reputable, highly valued," being from a verb that means "to be esteemed."

God's goodness, to you and me, and often to the whole world, is "priceless!" One of a kind! Of the 36 times the word appears, the King James Bible translates it as "precious" 25 times!

Why not tell God today how very precious He is to you?

If you do, I think He will respond!

He will, via the Holy Spirit, "snuggle" up close to you and love you in return!

You can't love Him like that without His mercy and kindness and gentleness and grace bubbling up deep down within your soul!

Try it!

You'll see!

He wants you to!

Like Jesus told the woman at the well: "The Father seeketh such to worship Him." John 4:23

He does!

And we can!

Precious Jesus!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Notice too...

That our Text uses a new word for God, new to this paragraph of Scripture.

"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings." Psalm 36:5-7, all of it now.

See, twice He is called LORD, "Jehovah" in other words.

But in our clause for today, He is "God" or "Elohiym!" Look, "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!"

Yes, Jehovah is filled with Mercy! That's the LORD.

That's exactly what our Text says!

And Elohiym is filled with lovingkindness, as well!

The God Who always is, Jehoavh! The God Who names Himself, "I AM THAT I AM." That's a definition of Jehovah, really! He is good! The LORD!

And then the God Who is Omnipotent, all powerful, Elohiym! That's right, El in Hebrew means "strong, powerful, filled with might!" In Jeremiah 33:27 God asks one of His questions. "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" That's Elohiym, all right, in His Power!

In both instances, with both Names, God is kind and merciful and loving and good!

It's His Nature!

Put all together Jehovah and Elohiym both, these Names of God appear 9,125 times in the Bible!

That's a lot of Goodness!

A lot of Kindness!

A lot of Mercy!

"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!"

Wow!

 

 

LESSON 8, OUR RESPONSE:

The whole thing has been about God's Grace, His Goodness. Yet Psalm 36:5-7 ends with a human reaction.

The Passage is so brief I can do this, show it to you again. "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."

I've capitalized the clause for today, the human response to God's Kindness. We can put our trust under the shadow of His Wings!

That's a lovely clause, but what does it mean?

"Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings." Psalm 35:7

I am assuming that the term "children of men" refers especially to God's people. Rather than to the world at large. The metaphor is just too intimate for everyone to participate, I think.

Lost people, unregenerate sinners, no matter how moral and upright they might be, they do not know to flee to Jesus and hide themselves under His mighty Protection.

But the Lord's people sure do!

They have experienced His Mercy and Faithfulness and Righteousness and Judgments and Lovingkindness, many times over!

And because God is this way, so wonderfully Loving, one's response is "to flee" straight to this merciful God!

And that's what the verb translated "to put one's trust" actually means, "to flee for safety!" Again, "Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings." 

The conjunction, in Hebrew anyway, "therefore" here means something like "consequently." Most often it is rendered as a simple "and" or "so" or "then." Each carries the same basic meaning, at least in our context here.

God is all these wonderful things, so much so that I am drawn unto Him! I actually "run" to Him for shelter!

But then again, look where we run, specifically.

"Under the shadow of His Wings!"

And let's do remember that the whole Text is addressed to God Himself! It's a prayer of adoration and praise! Sort of a "Hallowed be Thy Name" thing!

See if it looks like a prayer in your estimate. "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."

Yes, it is!

Lord, we flee to Thee, snuggling up under Thy Wings!

But what does that mean, the "shadow" picture?

It can mean one of three things.

First, this could be referring to the eagles wings of Exodus and Deuteronomy. "And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine." Exodus 19:3-5, under those wings!

"For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth." Deuteronomy 32:9-12

Wow!

Under eagles' wings!

Second, this could be referring to a mother hen with her little chicks. Jesus used this one later in His earthly Ministry. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Matthew 23:37

Or Luke has it this way. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" Luke 13:34, still under His Wings!

Third, and maybe the best, in the Most Holy Place, the very Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle, there was a piece of Furniture called the Ark of the Covenant. It had a covering, a lid, on it called the Mercy Seat!

Overshadowing it all were two angels, molded of gold, wings spread! It was on the Mercy Seat that the blood of the lamb was sprinkled year after year on the Day of Atonement! There, where God is said to reside, in His very Presence, under the wings of those angels, may be where the Psalmist has us resting!

Just like Psalm 80:1 pictures the Lord, Who indeed is our Shepherd! "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth."

Wow!

Thank God! "Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings." 

Are you resting "under His Wings" today?

What a place to be!

Where God dwells! "The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved." Psalm 99:1

He's inviting us, even now!

"Under those Wings!

Well, I'm praising the Lord yet again!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

What a wonderful Paragraph of Scripture, Psalm 36:5-7. Thank you, Lord, for Who You are!

 

 

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