Have you ever found yourself in a discussion that sounded very much like the first four verses of Psalm 36? Maybe it was just a conversation with yourself. This conversation may be about an individual, a group or the world in general. It goes something like this: wicked to the core, selfish, deceitful, no good, foolish, and always looking to make trouble. Sometimes those observations can grow quite lengthy.
David regularly discusses the godless with the LORD. He has no problem expressing his concern and outrage for them and their activities. But he quickly turns his thoughts away from the difficulties of the world and to the blessings of the LORD.
Please note this Psalm has 12 verses. Of the 12, four (maybe five if you count verse 12) are expressions of what is wrong, and 8 are expressions of what is right, good and blessed. Are your conversations similar? One-third what is wrong and two-thirds what is worthy of praise.
Are you the one to turn the conversation to something like this: LORD, love, faithfulness, righteousness, refuge, delight, and protection?
Holy Spirit quickly remind us of the Truth. May our conversations with others and ourselves be about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise.
"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Solomon's conclusion of all his study and inquiry into life under the sun is fear God and keep His instruction because that is man's duty. Solomon begins Proverbs with the same conviction (Proverbs 1:7), so we should not be surprised at this final analysis.
Before Solomon states this conclusion, he warns of the need to reach this decision in your youth. His counsel is to remember your Creator before the infirmities of old age occur. Solomon also reminds the reader of the care and diligence he used in selecting the wisdom included in his writings. Interestingly, he attributes everything to one Shepherd. I must confess as I read Solomon's instruction, whether Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or Song of Solomon, I easily forget these are not Solomon's words, but the words of God directed to Solomon by the Holy Spirit.
The fear of God and desire for obedience to Him is not common to man. Just as the words to Solomon are from the Holy Spirit, so is fear of the Lord and a desire for obedience. Jeremiah 32:38-41 contains many great promises the LORD made to His people. Verse 40 says "I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me." It is the work of the Holy Spirit to not only give new hearts, but to instill the desire for obedience.
One True Shepherd, it is Your Word and instruction I want. Thank You for the gift of Your Spirit and all He has done and is doing to change me to both fear and obey You.