Psalm 36:1-4 (TPT)
The rebellion of sin speaks as an oracle of God,
speaking deeply to the conscience [to the core] of wicked men.
Yet they are still eager to sin,
for the fear of God is not before their eyes.
See how they flatter themselves,
unable to detect and detest their sins.
They are crooked and conceited,
convinced they can get away with anything.
Their wicked words are nothing but lies.
Wisdom is far from them.
Goodness is both forgotten and forsaken.
They lie awake at night to hatch their evil plots,
always planning their schemes of darkness,
and never once do they consider the evil of their ways.
The Bible uses the word “wicked” in a variety of ways. In the Old Testament, if a person is referred to as wicked, they are a “criminal” or a person “guilty of a crime” that is punishable by God; this person has made a departure from divine or moral law. In the New Testament, the word “wicked” means “depravity” or “to do evil with malice and a purpose.” Whether someone is wicked according to the Old or New Testaments, the meaning manifests the same effects: the person operating in wickedness stands guilty before God because it reveals the depravity of the human heart without God. Wickedness flows from within a person; it begins with a thought, then a deed, then a character, and finally a destiny.
As affirmed by our passage today, wickedness is the human condition apart from God. Even if people do not like the word, they cannot deny seeing the manifestation of wickedness in our world. We need Christ! Wickedness is sin and it causes people to rebel against God while exalting their own ideas and thoughts. There really is a spiritual battle going on for the thoughts of people right now. For this reason, the Lord gave us the Word and sent the Spirit so our minds could be renewed by the Truth. Paul urges believers, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rom 12:2). How do we fight the wrong thoughts? Paul teaches, “We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Prayer: Lord, may I capture every thought that tries to exalt itself above your Word, cast it down, and turn to obey the Truth instead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.