One of the most tragic verses of the Bible is Genesis 6:5.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Does that not tug at your heart? Oh how it does mine. I know how I struggle with my thoughts; how a battle rages between the good and the evil. But to have not only every thought to be evil, but also every intent behind the thoughts? I cannot fathom. No wonder God sent the flood to destroy the earth.
Sadly, the flood did not do away with the problem. In Psalm 36:1-4 we find a similar picture. Verse one says, “Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart.” Wow. Such intimacy between an ungodly heart and sin. It just crushes my spirit to think about it!
Some days that’s how I feel, though. I so clearly see how I respond to the things that call to me. The things that draw me away from full passion for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My mind wanders in so many different directions. My passions chase after so many different things. I am pulled away from a singular focus on Christ Himself and I chase after idols once again. How can I truly say I am any different from the ungodly of Ps 36:1-4?
But then I read the rest…Ps 36:5-10. Go on and scroll over the reference and read the passage. It’s worth your time. It’s worth the excitement it will bring to your heart.
You see, the verses about the ungodly end with this statement in verse four: “He does not despise evil.” Then it proceeds to talk about the amazing nature of our God and His interaction with His children. Oh, how beautiful it is! And oh, how it causes the heart of His true child to soar!
The psalm closes out with an admission that we do struggle with the same things the ungodly struggle with. Pride. The influence of others. (Ps 36:11) But, there is one difference. The ungodly fall, unable to rise again (Ps 36:12), but God’s children can be picked right back up by the righteousness of God. One read through these precious verses about God’s nature and His interaction with us can lift our hearts.
Despite our struggle with sin and evil thoughts, we still acknowledge it as a struggle. We do despise evil and are lifted up by righteousness. We know the conflict in our hearts and are not happy with it. We yearn for the time when all conflict will be put aside and we will dwell forever in the righteousness of God with undivided hearts.
Evil surrounds us in this world. We face it daily. We are sickened by it continually. But, we can be encouraged, for we serve a righteous, loving, perfect God. Even as the battle rages within us, we can, like David, find the thrill of the beautiful words of God and know we are counted among the righteous.