To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.


 PSALM 36:5-10

A verse by verse Bible Study

(the river of god's pleasures!)

 A Preacher in his Study



"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. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart." Psalm 36:5-10


LESSON 1, verse 5:

The fifth verse of Psalm 36 uses a couple of "word pictures."

Lovely ones, too!

"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5

Here God's very Person, His Character,  is being extolled, uplifted ... as far as the Psalmist could imagine!

At least part of His Character, His mercy and His faithfulness.

"Mercy" is spelled "chesed" in Hebrew. It's a classic Old Testament word!

In the King James Bible it is mostly translated as "mercy," 149 times anyway. But it's also "merciful" 4 times, "kindness" 40 times, "lovingkindness" 30 times, "goodness" 12 times, "kindly" 5 times, "favor" 3 times, and even "pity" 1 time.

It's "root" verb, scholars think, is built upon a word that means "to bow down." This is someone great condescending to the level of someone insignificant! A "coming down" to help and aid and comfort!

This sounds just like what God did when Jesus came into this old world, humbling Himself like He did! Here's Jesus' presentation of God's "chesed" kindness: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:6-8

Such mercy should be praised!

And the Bible does such! "Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever." These words are found in several Bible Texts.

Yet in our verse today God's mercy is said to be "in the heavens!" In Hebrew "shamayim" means that which is "lofty." Things "above!"

Here are just a few of Scripture's "in the heavens" instances:

"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision." Psalm 2:4

"The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire." Psalm 18:13

"The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all." Psalm 103:19

"But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." Psalm 115:3

"When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures." Jeremiah 10:13

"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke." Joel 2:30

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 2nd Corinthians 5:1

"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." Hebrews 8:1-2

Any Bible student can construct a safe theology around this many verses. Just build a logical non-contradictory composite of these Scriptures, their "in the heavens" facts ... then reverently add God's "mercy" to the picture!

Next time you're flying through the heavens on an airliner, or just looking toward them from the ground, day or night, remember, "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens." Pray those words meaningfully!

Now, to God's "faithfulness."

"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5

"Emunah" means "that which is firm or steadfast." Which is established. Security! Trustworthiness!

It is derived from a shorter word, "aman," meaning "to build or support" something.

And the Holy Spirit uses this word to mean "truth" 13 different times in the Old Testament.

God is faithful!

Paul twice preached those very words!

"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

And "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

"Unto" means "as far as" or "even to." It's spelled "ad." It's seed thought is "to the end" or "until the terminus" of something! It's a way of saying "perpetual!" There is no limit to God's faithfulness! No means existed in the Psalmists' day to measure the altitude of the clouds! Look at them towering over all God's earthly creation!

The noun "clouds" is spelled "shachaq" and means a "powder" or even a "vapour." Its root verb means "to beat something into little bits and pieces!"

Another word picture!

If it's cloudy today, ponder God's faithfulness!

Psalm 92:2 might help also. "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night."

Oh, by the way!

Psalm 92 uses the very same noun combination, "chesed" and "emunah," that Psalm 36:5 uses, our Text today!

Apparently it's good to blend these two traits of our Heavenly Father and praise Him for them!


                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




One is easily seen.

The other is invisible.

Yet the Psalmist uses both to glorify God!

"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast." Psalm 36:6

Obviously, the great mountains majestically tower over man and his belongings. And a Jewish man, this Psalmist here, would have lived near such peaks.

Not so obviously, Jews not being seafaring people, the great depths do exist, but in darkness and oblivion.

In the previous verse of Psalm 36, God's mercy and faithfulness are extolled.

In today's verse, His righteousness and judgment!

The noun "righteousness" is "tzsedaqah" and means "straight!" That which is not "crooked!" When applied to God, His character is implied. He never has done anything wrong! Nothing about Him is broken or splintered or spliced or deformed! He is perfectly in line, accurate, hence ... straight!

God is the Only Such One, without taint or sin of any kind, in all of existence!

Righteousness like that is amazing!



Just like the mountains the Psalmist saw every day!

"Mountains" translates "harar," from a root word that means "to loom" or "to rise up."

"Great" is spelled "el," powerful or strong or mighty!

It's astounding! The first time the word "mountains" is mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 7:20, a context of judgment! The world-wide flood during the days of Noah! "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."

Now, here in Psalm 36:6 those same mountains are compared and contrasted with God's judgments too!

The highest mountain on earth is Mount Everest in Nepal, quite near China. Its altitude reaches just over 29,000 feet!

But God's righteousness exceeds even that!

Yet our Verse immediately mentions another sphere of God's creation! Leaving the nearby mountains behind, he ventures to the ocean! There, we are now told, other mountains exist! Underwater! "Seamounts" they are sometimes called!

One of these, near Hawaii, reaches a total of just over 31,000 feet from base to top!

But the Psalmist does not call these unseen giants "mountains!" They are merely covered by "great depths!"

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

They are in an area of creation that is likened unto God's "judgments!"

"Mishpat" means "to govern!" To "vindicate," or "declare right!" Or even to "execute penalty" on the guilty! This "judge" is the "ruler" of a land, in a legal sense.

Our great God is here pictured as Judge over all the earth. Read with me Psalm 82:8, "Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations." Better yet, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25

Many things about God's judgments are inexplicable!

"Past finding out!"

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" This is Paul in Romans 11:33.

Now Job, talking about his great God, "Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number." Job 9:10

These "past finding out" judgments are like things covered by the depths of the sea! Hard to comprehend!

The one single thing about God that is most criticized centers on His judgments, or apparent lack of thereof!

Here's a Bible example: "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Ecclesiastes 8:11 describes misunderstood judgment.

But, do note this about God's judgments.

Although they are hidden in the depths of His wisdom and power, their outlines are surely still majestic and breathtaking, just like the mountains rising above the waters!

God's judgments are just as RIGHT as God's character!

They are just more obscured and hard to comprehend!

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

Either way, in righteousness or in judgment, God is still on the Throne!

Praise His Name!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


The verse concludes, "O LORD, thou preservest man and beast." This may be directly linked to the mountains and sea depths just mentioned.

The verb "preserveth" is "yasha." It should be familiar to us. It's the word for "salvation, deliverance, safety" ...even "saviour!"

God saves man, "adam" in Hebrew. One can almost hear our "fall" into iniquity in that term.

But what about the beasts?

This noun is "behemah." In Job 40:15 the word is directly used. "Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox." This is some kind of a huge animal! And in the same context, Job 41:1-2, we go to the sea! The gigantic animals therein! "Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?"

Here's another "linking" of the earth and its inhabitants, mountain folks around Jerusalem ... "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever," says Psalm 125:2.

Linking them to the sea, sea creatures, the depths about which we still know so little!

When you next wonder about the topography of the underwater world, look around! See the mountains! The visible earth is apparently a pretty good indicator of the underwater world, its counterpart!

And if God is righteous on earth in all His dealings ... we can rest assured, He will also be righteous in His unseen and hard-to-understand judgments too!


"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast." Psalm 36:6

By the way, in case you're wondering how God has "preserved" sea life, just think of the Flood! As far as I know, not one fish drowned!

It's not good to keep "adding" and "adding" to one's comments on a verse of Scripture. But I can't help this!

Since that verb "preservest" is the "salvation" verb of the Old Testament, to "save" someone ... look at its setting here!

Right between the Righteousness of God, His Ways and Laws and Standards ... and His fearful Judgments, His Decrees against sin and iniquity!

Jesus died on Calvary for sinners! God's very character demanded such a Holy Sacrifice!

And without such a vicarious death by the Worthy Son of God, the Judgments of the Father would have been poured forth on us all!

At Calvary, God's Holiness and God's Love came together in beautiful harmony!

Jesus, Who had eternally lodged in the sinless heights of God's Righteousness ... also plunged Himself into the lowly depths of God's Judgments!

Thereby saving mankind!

Psalm 36:6 is then a word picture, a diagram, of God's very plan of salvation!




Any ancient language can show this, I suppose. It's called "causality." That's the ability to depict a relationship between two or more concepts in a sentence or paragraph or body of literature.

This sequence might be termed "cause and effect" in most situations.

Because fact "A" is true, therefore fact "B" will likely occur.

We have such a feature in today's Verse, Psalm 36:7.

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

Specifically in the Hebrew language two verb "stems" or "patterns" are dedicated to this "cause" concept.

A Hiphil verb is causative in the active voice while a Hophal verb has the same task in the passive sense.

However, in Psalm 36:7 today causality is not shown via the verbs used, but by means of the context itself.

Because God's lovingkindness is so very excellent ... men who love Him consequently place their trust and faith in Him, in this loving Creator and Redeemer!

The "key" to today's thought partly rests in that little Hebrew "conjunction" translated "therefore."

"As a result of" or "consequently" or "then."

"Therefore" thus shows "relationship" between the sentence's two clauses.

Let's study this a few minutes.

"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!"

The "pronoun" in Hebrew, "mah," expresses the "how" thought. In English we would have called it an adverb.

It's just an interrogative, wondering "what" or "how" or "why" or even "when."

Apparently here it's meaning is limited to "how."

The word "excellent" is an adjective. "Yaqar" means "valuable." It's original meaning is "that which is heavy," probably a reference to a piece of gold or silver, something whose weight partially determines its worth! "Yaqar" is sometimes translated, in the Old Testament, "costly, bright, clear, honourable and precious."

"Lovingkindness" is again "chesed." God's amazing Grace! His condescending love, that which came down from heaven to earth and died for sinners!

And the Name of God here used is "elohiym," the God of power and strength. Also He is the God Who is Triune, Father and Son and Holy Spirit! He is the Creator too! My computer gives the total Bible occurrences of Elohiym as 2,606. Quite a number!

We have now studied the "cause" in today's Verse, God's excellent lovingkindness.

Let's look at the "effect" next, "therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."

"Ben," the little Hebrew noun here rendered as "children" means originally "to build" something. "Banah" is its root word. Children "build" a family!

However, gramatically speaking, "ben" is a masculine gender common noun. It first of all means "sons" or "boys" or "men." Obviously it can include girls and ladies by implication and does so here, "children."

The noun "men" is spelled "adam," really meaning "reddish" or "ruddy." It presents man as a creation of God, sadly, one who fell into sin. Yet wonderfully, one who is the object of God's great plan of redemption!

To "put trust in" something or someone utilizes the verb "chasah." It means "to seek refuge." Something like, "to flee for protection."  Once in the Old Testament it even means "to have hope!"

Its "time" status pictures ongoing action, linear in nature. We habitually put our trust in God's great Power!

The "shadow of something's wings" could be a figure of speech. Symbolizing a mother hen's "protection" instinct! When danger comes, her little babies, "biddies" they were called where I lived as a boy, run to Mama and snuggle up under her wings! Safe and secure and warm!

God, our great Protector, offering His Love and Power and Presence to us!

Even in the New Testament Jesus invites, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

However, and even more Biblical, is this concept. "And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims."

There, on the very Mercy Seat Itself, abides Almighty God! That's His Old Testament place of Abode, one of them anyway! He is omni-present really! And the Mercy Seat is located so that it rests exactly between two angels, cherubim they are called.

God lives "under the wings" of those angels, pictorially so anyway.

When our verse says that people, God's children, take refuge "under His Wings," it well may mean they, by means of Blood atonement, can approach their great God and rest there ... by His Side!

It's an Old Testament way of saying, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

God's kindness, a "Magnet" for His children!


                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


The noun "shadow" is spelled "tzsel" and means a "shade." Three times in the King James Bible it is rendered as "defence." That's the idea!

And "wings" is "kanaph." It also means "borders" or "skirts" or "corners" or even "feathers!"

Snuggling right up to Almighty God!

No Place is more secure!

No One more Powerful!

Delight in this little piece of inspired Hebrew poetry. It fits today's lesson beautifully. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Psalm 91:1-4





The key word is "pleasure."

It's in the plural number, however, "pleasures."

David, in Psalm 36:8, writes: "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

Anyone might wonder, Who are "they?"

A pronoun, its antecedent is "children of men" in the previous verse.

Another "hint" is "them that know Thee" two verses later!

"Abundantly satisfied," a verb in Hebrew that's spelled "ravah," means "to be satiated, to be saturated!" But notice these King James Bible uses of the word: "soaked" 1 time, "bathed" 1 time, even "made drunk" 2 times! "Drenched," says one lexicon.

This verb "ravah" also appears at the first of the sentence, the verse. This fact alone means that we are to give it heavy emphasis as we study this great thought.

The noun "fatness" is "deshen" and figuratively means "abundance." The "fat" of a substance, particularly of an animal sacrificed at the Jewish Tabernacle, belonged exclusively to the Lord!  Leviticus 3:16 is a technical verse, but you immediately will see why it's important here. "And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD'S."

But "deshen" is also translated as "ashes" 8 times in the Old Testament, while only 7 times is it "fatness." Somehow we must associate it with blood sacrifice, God's plan of salvation.

God's "House," in Hebrew "bayith," means one's "dwelling place."

This clause really says something like this, "Those who love the Lord are made to feast, to feast abundantly, when they go down to God's House!"

Maybe even, "They lavishly eat of the bounty God's House provides!"

Just think about this!

At God's House, at first the Jewish Tabernacle and then later the Temple, one would find ...

The brazen altar ... picturing Jesus' death on the Cross!

The brass laver ... Jesus' cleansing power for the daily defilement we incur! Also the water of the Word of God to keep us clean!

The golden candlestick ... Jesus the Light of the world and the Holy Spirit, illuminator to the saints! Maybe even the Bible too, that is "a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path!"

The table of shewbread ... Christ Jesus, the Bread of Life!

The altar of incense ... our Lord as Mediator! Praying on behalf of His Children! Better yet, Jesus, the Sweetsavour Offering Who pleases God, making our prayers in His Name acceptable!

Then, the Holy of Holies with its Ark of the Covenant! What that depicts would take a whole Lesson, a batch of them, but can be summed up in a word or two: JESUS as our perfect Sacrifice and then as our constant Companion!

God's House, plenty to eat there!

Surely this is a term of worship, "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house."

Then David the Psalmist, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, adds: "And thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures."

God not only feeds us lavishly, He provides "drink" also!

Both at the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament and from the glorious Temple during the Millennium, then again out from the very Throne of God in New Jerusalem, that eternal city ... were rivers!


At Eden: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." Genesis 2:10

During the Millennium: "Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar." Ezekiel 47:1

Then eternally: "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life ...." Revelation 22:1-2

It's here that the children of God can "drink!"

And such water is said to bring great pleasure! "And thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures."

The verb "shaqah" means "to provide water," lots of it! "To irrigate!" It's even "drown" once in the Bible! One old text says of "shaqah," to drink "heartily!"

Here's the Bible's first use of "shaqah." Look for it to occur early in the Old Testament. "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." Genesis 2:6 here pictures a whole weather system!

And, without erring I trust, it must be mentioned that "shaqah" is very often associated with strong drink in the Bible! Strong's exhaustive concordance refers its readers to "shakar" (to come under the influence of some drink) and "shathah" (to imbibe)! Both words are directly related to "shaqah."

Whatever this "water" of God is, it's exhilarating!

It's captivating!

It's, to use David's words here, "filled with pleasures!"

When the Holy Spirit "fell" on the Day of Pentercost and the 120 Believers in that upper room began to respond to His Presence, the public thought they were "drunk!" Peter even began his morning sermon that day, "Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." Acts 2:14-17

Do remember too that Paul in Ephesians 5:18 paradoxically wrote: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."

We Believers are not to indulge in strong drink. That we know. But it's possible to be spiritually "ravished" with the things of God!

"Overcome" by the good Grace of God!

Things "unspeakable" and "full of glory!"

Drinking from the river of God's pleasures!

"River" is "nachal" in Hebrew. It can mean a flowing body of water in many sizes: "river" 56 times in the Bible, then "brook" 46 times and "stream" 11 times and finally, "flood" 5 times!

Trickles or torrents!

How thirsty are you?

Lastly, the word "pleasures."

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

It's amazing!

"Pleasures" in Hebrew is the noun "eden!" It means "luxuries, dainties, fineries and delights!" Its root history suggests: "that which is soft or pleasant." When verbalized, the older scholars give this definition: "to live voluptuously!" That word voluptuous now has questionable connotations. But originally it just meant "full of pleasure!"

"God" and manifold "pleasures" ... two words not often associated!

Until one reads the Bible!

This one Verse really should settle it all! "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11, prophetically spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ as He communes with His Father! The "path of life" here is a reference to Jesus' Resurrection on the third day after His Crucifixion!

Real pleasure is not found in the world!

Such things are temporary!

God is its Author!

And Source!

And Goal!

Yes, we can enjoy God to the point of absolute delight!

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4

Pleasures indeed!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Life and Light!

Today's Verse says that God is the true Source of both!

"For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light." Psalm 36:9

Let's study that verse!

It sounds like Jesus certainly knew it!

Our Lord even identified Himself with life and light, thus "making Himself God," as His enemies said!

"I am the resurrection, and the life." Jesus in John 11:25

And, "I am the light of the world." John 9:5

The enemies of Christ raged, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." John 5:18

Therefore the Bible student must conclude that Psalm 36:9 applies to God as Triune; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. "For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light."

The opening word is technically, in Hebrew anyway, a conjunction. "Kiy" it is spelled. It means "for" in this sense; "because, when," or even "and." The term usually indicates "causal" relationship.

Like this: We enjoy the pleasures of God so much because He is the Essence of life and light! The very Cause of light and life is the Lord God Almighty!

Now notice "with Thee!"

Spelled "im" in Hebrew, this little preposition indicates "accompaniment." It is built upon the "amam" root, a key word meaning "to associate" and then "to overshadow!"

We are being told that both "light" and "life" fellowship with our God! They "dwell" with Him in fact!

"Fountain" is "maqor" and means that which is "dug" or "trenched." Like a vibrant well of water! Or better yet, a fountain opened for all to drink! In the King James Text it is translated, in addition to "fountain," as "spring" 3 times and "wellspring" 2 times and "issue" once and "well" once.

Listen to the Lord call Himself a Fountain in Jeremiah 2:13. "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." He here is a fountain of life too!

"Life" is "chay," flowing and fresh and reviving and strong!

As one would suspect, the first Scriptural use of our word is in Genesis 2:9 in reference to the "tree of life!" That was in the Garden of Eden you will remember. But there's another one coming! In New Jerusalem, in Heaven ... "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Revelation 22:2

The word for "light" is "or." It's verbal heritage means "to be luminous, to shine, to be glorious!"

God's Light is perfect Light!

Jesus preached often about light!

Psalm 43:3 tells us where God's Light will lead, right to the place of worship! "O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles."

The verb "see" is critical. "Raah" means "to look at, to inspect, to consider, to perceive." Four times in the Old Testament it is rendered as "enjoy!" We are to enjoy God's Light!

Yet, John said, "Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19

Here's the first mention of "light" in the Bible. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." Genesis 1:3-4

What the Psalmist is saying here about light is amazing! "In God's great Light we humans can see true light!"

Truthfully, without God's Light we would not be able to exist. Total darkness will not support life, not meaningful life anyway.

This leads to a conclusion. The closer a Believer lives to God, to His Light ... the more enlightened or illuminated that Christian's life will be!

Stay near the Source!

No wonder Solomon wrote: "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18

This also shows us why we better understand the Bible when we "snuggle" up close to God, basking in His great Love and Light! The illumination there is so great!

Lastly, our verse "links" the two qualities, life and light!

"For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light."

Scientist have for a long time now been telling us that such a link indeed exists! That's partly what Einstein's research reveled.


Energy equals the mass of an object times the speed of light squared!

And when something can (theoretically) travel at the speed of light, guess what?

Time stands still!

It ceases to exist!

If you could hitch a ride on a beam of light and travel to the nearest star and back (apart from the sun) ... your lapsed travel time on earth would be nearly nine years.  But when you "landed" you would be not one second older than when you left!

So, if God is Light ... He is eternal! Timeless!

And if God is eternal, He apparently also is Light!

This is over my head.

Let me return to our verse.

Think about it today!

"For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light."


Someday science will finally advance to Biblical levels!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Today's Verse is a prayer.

A lovely one!

"O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart." Psalm 36:10

Those for whom the Psalmist prays have already observed the abundance of God's lovingkindness and righteousness!

Back in Verse 5, using the same Hebrew word for "mercy" as is employed for "lovingkindness" here," we read: "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens." It is so copious that its heights tower into the heavens! Then it's added: "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!"

Then in Verse 6 the same is true of God's righteousness: "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." Piles of righteousness!

Here's the prayer again, using terms that have dominated this whole Paragraph. "O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart."

"Lovingkindness" translates "chesed," a first cousin to "grace!" It's God's mercy and goodness and favour all rolled into one glorious package!

The verb here for "know" is spelled "yada." Obviously in this context it means "to be intimately familiar" with Someone!

David is asking God to continue dispensing His faithfulness and goodness to His people!

And then, as with most Bible prayers, there is more!

Large doses of God's righteousness are sought also! God's "uprightness," His absolute lack of any crookedness, is meant! "Tzsedaqah" is the word.

The "upright," in Hebrew "yasher," are "straight" morally and "level" ethically or literally "correct" by God's standards of proper behaviour.

Just like through all eternity the ungodly will reap more and more ungodliness ... so will the righteous crave and receive vast reservoirs of righteousness!

Eternally so, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still," says Revelation 22:11.

Also do not miss the little "hint" here about knowing and loving and treasuring the Lord God Almighty! The more one loves Him ... possibly all the more "lovingkindness," the heavenly kind, he or she can anticipate!

Not as expected payment, but as gracious reward!

But really, our overview of this Verse is not complete until we have analyzed the opening verb, "O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart."

This first word of our Hebrew sentence is "mashak." It is only used three dozen or so times in all the Bible.

Only once is it translated "continue," right here!

In Genesis 37:28 Joseph is "drawn out" of the pit into which his brothers had thrown him! That's the verb "mashak."

In Exodus 19:13, "mashak" is used when a trumpet "soundeth long."

Several times, including 2nd Chronicles 18:22, "mashak" is even used for "drawing" a bow string taut, ready to shoot the deadly arrow!

In Nehemiah 9:30 God is said to "forbear" Israel's waywardness!

Leviathan is a sea creature in Job 41:1. "Canst thou 'draw out' leviathan with an hook?" Again "mashak" is capitalized. Catching a fish!

In Proverbs 13:12 it's "deferred," and is used of unrealized hope. "Hope 'deferred' maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."

What an invitation this is, the bride to her groom! "'Draw me,' we will run after thee!" Song of Solomon 1:4

In Isaiah 13:22 it is "prolonged" and is used of time.

Twice in Isaiah 18, verses 2 and 7, "mashak" means "scattered!"

Here it is in Jeremiah 31:3 used with "lovingkindness" too! "Therefore with lovingkindness have I 'drawn' thee." That's the Lord talking to Israel.

Get this one! "So they 'drew up' Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon." Jeremiah 38:13

Lastly, in Amos 9:13, "mashak" has the idea of "sowing" seed!

God can do more with His great lovingkindness than I ever imagined!

Lord ... "O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart."

Maybe this is what the Psalmist had in mind when he wrote these words too. He's talking to God. "Thy gentleness hath made me great." Psalm 18:35

Yes, we are to be faithful even in the days of trial and difficulty! But, generally speaking, God's "chesed" mercy prevails!

Glory to His Name!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Many books exist on the subject of prayer.

A great number of those suggest that we pray the Scriptures.

Master a Passage in the Bible, perhaps even memorizing it and meditating upon its beauties, then make that Text a part of your prayer life too!

The godly Christian George Mueller, I have been told, read through the Bible well over two hundred times in his life, all on his knees! Studying the Book, slowly digesting the Book ... then praying the Book back to God!

I personally have no trouble with this concept.

I indeed have prayed the "petitions" of Scripture.

Things like: "O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy." Habakkuk 3:2

Or, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17

And especially: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Matthew 6:9-13

One more, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20

Where I am especially weak is in the area of praying back to God Bible Doctrine or Narrative or History or Judgment.

Again let me say, I have no trouble with the concept, not in theory.

But today!

Yesterday really, the Lord's Day, Sunday morning, typing right here on this Bible Study Page I saw it!

A Scriptural example of praying the Truth of God's Word right back to our Heavenly Father!

The Text which was in focus, Psalm 36:5-10, is beautiful anyway!

But its ending is more than beautiful! It's absolutely life-changing!

Having already studied each verse now, I can simply print the Text. Take time to read it quickly. "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. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart." Here in Psalm 36:5-10 I have capitalized the words of that ending prayer!

There's no doubt that the first five verses are "didactic," teaching us truth about God!

It's that last verse that prays!

That alone has helped me so much!

The Psalmist there, the Holy Spirit really, turns all the previous teaching into prayer!

Real Bible Prayer!

Into "petition" too! That means "requesting" something!

Addressed to the Lord God Himself, of course!

Not praying that's praise-related or filled with thanksgiving or adoration or confession or anything else! All these are good, mind you!

But here, it's asking God for something!

Read it again, the last verse, the prayer: O continue Thy lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart."

Do you see what I mean?

It takes the two main themes of the pericope, the whole context, the entire paragraph, and blends them into intercessory prayer before God!

I say "intercessory" prayer because the request is for others, not simply for the Psalmist himself!

Asking for others increasing amounts of these two great qualities, traits or attributes of God, lovingkindness and righteousness!

Here's an example, in my own prayerful words: "Lord, keep on being good and gracious to those who know Thee and love Thee deeply! And maintain Thy righteous ways to those whose hearts are inclined unto Thee!"

"In Jesus, Name, Amen!"

Take a Bible chapter today and try this! Or maybe just a paragraph! A single verse will do!

Study your Text!

Then, pray it to the Lord, turning it, just like Psalm 36 has done right in front of our eyes, into petition!

Seeking great things for the godly! Things like God's great lovingkindness and righteousness!

Praise the Lord for His precious Word!

It never ceases to amaze!

Indeed, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable ...." That little adjective "profitable" in 2nd Timothy 3:16 is spelled "ophelimos" and means "valuable, useful, beneficial!" It is derived from "ophelos," that which is "advantageous." Its verbal root is "ophello," meaning "to heap up" something! To accumulate wealth!

The Bible is that valuable!

Speaking of God's Judgments, God's very Words, we are told in Psalm 19:10 that: "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold."

That's nearly priceless these days! Talk about "heaping up" treasure! The wealth of the Word of God shames even the best Wall Street investor or fianacier!

Study the Bible!

It's "profitable!"

And, when God leads, pray it too!

Now we have precedent!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 By the way, if YOU are one who "knows" and loves God, if YOU are among those righteously inclined to Him, this prayer includes you as well! Get ready for a big, extra dose of His lovingkindness and righteousness! It's on the way! If you've prayed today's verse! "O continue Thy lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart." 


Psalm 36:5-10 is a great Text! Really, it can be life changing! Oh, the power invested in the Word of God!



Thank YOU for visiting our Website!

You are visitor number ...

Hit Counter


Copyright 2007 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.

The Fundamental Top 500