The Psalmist from his own knowledge here describes the sad state of a fallen nature. He extols the mercy of God. He prays for the continuance of God's loving kindness, and foretells the ruin of the ungodly.
To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David the servant of the Lord.
I never read or saw a commentary upon this verse of scripture, but what referred this knowledge of the heart to anther's conduct, and not to the Psalmist's own. As if the transgression of my neighbour told me what the heart of another man saith, and not what passeth within. And it is strange that men should thus read the passage in terms the very reverse of what the passage saith. David saith that this transgression of the wicked speaks in his own heart. And how then should it be supposed to be another man's? I venture to read the passage literally as it is; and I venture to believe that in doing this the passage describes every truly regenerated Christian's experience. Reader! do you not think that in that body of sin and death we carry about with us, even the best and holiest of men (like Paul) feel the workings of sin and corruption within? And when this is the case doth it not show, by a believer's experience in what passeth in his own heart, how plainly the fear of God is banished from the ungodly and unregenerate?
These are the outlines, and but the outlines of a heart, whose imagination is only evil, and that continually. Genesis 6:5.
What a beautiful transition the Psalmist here hath made from the corruption of men, to contemplate the mercy and faithfulness of God? How beautiful also the highly finished comparisons here made of God's righteousness, and judgments?
Reader! observe the richness, and, greatness, and extensiveness of these promises. And observe how sure and certain they are, being all founded in Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. God the Father is a river, full, plenteous, unceasing, eternal; Psalms 46:4; Jeremiah 2:13. God the Son is a river; Song of Solomon 4:15. God the Holy Ghost is a river; Isaiah 44:3-4; John 7:39; Revelation 22:1.
This is a beautiful conclusion for faith to make in the contemplation of a corrupt heart, both in ourselves and the ungodly, and in the contemplation also of the healing, cleansing fountain, opened for sin and for uncleanness in the Lord. Where shall a soul convinced of his own dry and barren thirsty soil go to, but to him that is a fountain of life in himself, and hath grace in endless streams to communicate to his people?
READER! let us both pause over the contents of this Psalm, and let us ask ourselves whether our own transgressions and daily short comings, have brought us to the same conclusion as the Psalmist? It is a blessed experience and among the first principles of a cure for disease, as well spiritual as bodily; when we are led to discover in what the disease consists. Yea, Reader! if the Holy Ghost hath convinced of sin, then transgression within our own heart will say, and say it too sometimes in a daring manner, the fear of God is for a while lessened. Alas! what is man, what is every man by sin?
Reader! let us both look to him where alone is our remedy. It is wholly with Jesus, in Jesus. He is indeed the fountain of life, the fountain for pardon, for sin, and for all uncleanness. Oh! for grace to be seeking to him continually. Depend upon it, my brother, the more we come, the more we seek, the more we draw, the faster will flow the streams from that spring, which is inexhaustible, unchangeable, eternal. Lord, be thou in me a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life!
Lord! I beseech thee, fulfil that blessed promise of being abundantly satisfied with the fulness of thine house. Oh! Lord, what can satisfy the desires of an awakened soul, but thyself? Life in thee, and communion with thee, unceasing enjoyment of thee, and unceasing and increasing desires after thee; these, Lord, are the longings of my soul: and do thou, Lord, grant me to be, according to this sweet promise, both satisfied, and abundantly satisfied, during a pilgrimage state here, in this dry and barren wilderness, until thou shalt bring me to the fountain head of everlasting enjoyment with the church above; where, when I awake up after thy likeness, I shall indeed be satisfied with thyself, and in thee find an eternal fountain of joy forevermore. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 36". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Easter