Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgements are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie prostrate;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.
I come to this Psalm through verse 5, and particularly through the 'Worship' song by Southern US group 'Third Day' who did a verson of this I still find inspiring (I will post it below, in case you feel like a little mellow Southern Rock Worship).
Like many of the Psalms, this thirty-sixth Psalm is painfully honest as the writer struggles with the deeds of those who do evil without shame. There's a longing that 'the wicked' will be struck down, but in contrast to that there is this deep expression of the greateness of God's love - a love that stretches to the heavens, a love that is steadfast, a love that is trustworthy.
The honesty of the Psalmist is refreshing, but the focus of the Psalm is not that which 'evildoers' perpetrate, but on the Divine love which is beyond all knowledge yet which the Psalm writer has experienced and does experience in a deep and profound way. A way that brings hope.
May our focus be on love.
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 36:5-9)
God’s steadfast love extends to the heavens,
and God’s love surrounds us here.
God’s faithfulness rises to the clouds,
and God’s faithfulness is evident under our feet.
We will feast on the abundance of God:
an abundance of light,
an abundance of gratitude,
an abundance of love.
Together we eat at the table of grace;
together we drink from the fountain of life.
Let us worship together with joy. (or 'let us meet this day with joy")
From Spacious Faith