1 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.
They have no fear of God at all.
2 In their blind conceit,
they cannot see how wicked they really are.
3 Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.
They refuse to act wisely or do good. Psalm 36:1-3 [NLT]
There are layers of reference in these verses. In one sense, we might ask, Who is there who does not fit this description? “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 [NLT] “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9 [NLT] That’s what it means to be wicked “deep within the heart” (verse 1). Sin is not merely a matter of actions taken. It is a matter of orientation of the heart, of the core of a person’s character and nature.
But David goes on to point out that this sin-sick orientation is chameleon-like. It clouds our minds, so that we don’t acknowledge it for what it is. We are very adept at pretending that our sinful desires and actions aren’t sinful. We dress them up in pretty clothes. We insist to ourselves that our evil is not evil.
Knowledge is voluntary. It isn’t forced on us. We have to choose to know the truth as true. We have to be willing to know our sin for what it is. That’s how the deceitfulness of our sinful nature works. We collude with ourselves and choose not to know, to recognize our sinful orientation and behavior for what it is. The first step in salvation is to choose to stop lying to ourselves and to choose to know the truth about ourselves, no matter what it is.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 [NLT]
© 2019 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.