Psalm 36 - Human Malice and Divine Kindness

    [New International Version] Psalm 36 belongs to Book I of the Book of Psalms. Faith in God and divine goodness are ways to fight and overcome the practice of evil.

    The PS 36 belong to Book I of the Book of PS, composed of a collection of 150 texts arranged by five poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action, is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book I encompasses Psalms 1 to 41. The PS 36 is divided into 13 verses. The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience. They portray the commoner with his faults, insecurities, fears, and hopes. Even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing. "There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel"; "The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord." - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan.

    Psalm 36 - Human Malice and Divine Kindness

    1  To the director. From the servant of the Lord. From David. 2  The evildoer has an oracle of sin within his heart; before their eyes, there is no fear of God. 3  But his God destroys him with his gaze, uncovering his abominable iniquity. 4  The words of his mouth are of malice and treachery; |renounced to be sensible and to do good. 5  Evil is what he plans, lying in his bed. Obstinate following his evil path, he doesn't even consider renouncing evil. 6  O Lord, your mercy reaches the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches the clouds. 7  Your righteousness is like high mountains, and your judgments are a deep abyss: O Lord, You save men and beasts. 8  How wonderful is your mercy, O God! Humans take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 9  They are satisfied with the abundance of your house; You give them to drink from your rivers of delights. 10  For in you is the fountain of life, and it is in your light that we see the light. 11  Extend your mercy to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright in heart. 12  Let not the feet of the proud come upon me, and let the hand of evildoers drive me not out. 13  Behold, they have fallen to the ground that does iniquity; they have been slaughtered and can no longer get up.

    Meaning and interpretation

    Psalm 36 is a single prayer of supplication; the reflection on the human experience is the opportunity to make wise model considerations on how to do evil, settle and dominate human behavior. Faith in God is the way by which it opens the possibility of overcoming this vicious circle. The Psalm contrasts the corruption of a heart without fear of God (verses 2-5) and the immense goodness God bestows his benefits on his faithful (verses 6-12). The tops of the mountains and the depths of the abyss represent the extreme points of terrestrial space and the world, which function here as a measure of the greatness of God. Source and light are two important metaphors for life. The fountain of living water will flow from Jerusalem and the temple giving life to the whole earth. The light that comes from God is also a source of life. The Sapiential Psalms are books of Sacred Scripture ( Libri Sapientiales ) that contain, above all, moral sentences from ancient Israel - Proverbs, Job, Qohelet (Ecclesiastes), Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Song of Songs, Wisdom. These prayers are filled with ancient inspiration, wisdom, life experiences, and people's history. They analyze human behaviorethical options and consequences, and the search for the meaning of life and death for each of us and as a society. Various themes are addressed in these Psalms, such as justice/injustice; sinful/righteous; wisdom/foolishness; bad/good; fidelity/infidelity; the honor or lack of it, the virtue that exists in prudence in speaking, in being fair, in knowing how to be rich. The existence of God is never questioned. He is Creator, Lord, Judge, Wise. The Wisdom Psalms are also understood as a guide for everyone to meditate on the issues of their daily lives and the mysteries of life. The Psalmist uses his own and others' experiences to discerning the path based on correct moral principles. They are based on the assumption that what we do in this world, we pay for in this life. The wisdom style appears in Ps 1; 14; 34; 36; 37; 39; 49; 53; 73; 74.

    The Book of Psalms

    The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

    The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the commoner, with his failures, insecurities, fears, and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received. Despite being written in Antiquity, the Psalms still movesensitizeawaken feelingsinspire and enchant. In them, we can identify anguish and joy, deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom, and prophetic words. Written for different situations, some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author's relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life; others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

    The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

    The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine, and prayer is the power of the word. Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word, or image addressed to God is called prayer. Through it, we come into contact with our God within; therefore, it is powerful in transforming life. Prayer can produce miracles, turn dreams into reality, and give us hope for changeharmony, and peace with ourselves and the world. Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God. For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence. The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for spiritual self-protection, family protection, and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves, from this, peace, well-being, hope, and goodness in front of everyone and everything result. Faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination. The Psalms will guide you toward peace and communion with higher energy.