Psalm 36: Arrgh Thar Drivin Me Nuts

Read Psalm 36:1-12

Arrgh, Thar Drivin’ Me Nuts!

Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
(Psalm 36:10)

I have to admit it—I was really ticked off! I was fighting back road-rage. I was considering intimidating the driver of the other car with hyper-close tailgating, or perhaps speeding up and cutting them off, or maybe even performing the dreaded PIT maneuver (and if you don’t occasionally watch “Cops”, you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about).

So what was my problem? Well, I was on the way to a birthday celebration—a friend had turned 90 this week—and the car in front of me had about every bumper sticker offensive to Christianity on it you could possibly imagine. Can you believe it! The one that sent me over the edge was next to the pirated “fish” symbol—you know, the one that has feet and the name Darwin on the inside of our beloved fish. Anyway, next to that was a bumper sticker that said, “We Have The Fossils—We Win.”

I was beginning to hum “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “Stand Up For Jesus” and I would intermittently mumble, “the sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” (Judges 7:18) I was ready to pounce—in Jesus name, of course. But I didn’t do any of that. Rather, I eventually settled for calmingly passing the car that was causing my upset and giving its multi-pierced occupants my most righteous stare.

Drats! They didn’t even see me.

Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad, but I was more than a little ticked off. You get that way too, sometimes, when you see the unrighteous flaunting their disregard of God and their disrespect for Christians. And as followers of Christ, we sometimes long for the day God steps in and judges sin with a display of Divine justice that will leave no doubt—although when we consider the lives of the sinners we know and love, that prospect is rather frightening.

David was feeling that way in this psalm. Out of the twelve verses that make up Psalm 36, six are used to complain about the wicked (Psalm 36:1-4,11-12). But as David is venting, I think he comes to grips with the fact that there was not much, if anything, he could do about the evil residing in the hearts of those wicked people who were ticking him off. So, as he often does, he talks himself out of his “road rage” by focusing on the character of God—his love and faithfulness (Psalm 36:5), his righteousness and justice (Psalm 36:5), his protection and abundance (Psalm 36:7-8), and life itself (Psalm 36:9-10) that the godly find when they make the Almighty their sanctuary.

Dwelling on the eternal character of God is the antidote to the spiritual road rage that threatens to consume us when we focus on the ephemeral nature of the sinner. You’d think I would get that by now—but I guess like David, I have to relearn it just about every other day. I’ll bet you do too!

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable,
because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

—C.S. Lewis

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