Pastor James J. Barker

Text: PSALMS 36


  1. Recently Bro. Arturo has been taking pictures of the people in our church. Some people have complained that they did not like the way their picture came out. Some have even refused to be photographed.
  2. I can sympathize with you. Some people feel they are not photogenic or the picture will not do them justice.
  3. But I am going to speak today about a different picture. No one can complain about this picture because this picture is perfectly accurate. In fact, we could not find a more accurate picture than the one we are going to look today.
  4. The reason this picture is so accurate is simple: God took this picture. We are going to look at how God sees things. God sees things much differently than the way man sees things.
  5. God has given us this accurate picture and said, "Examine it. Look at it carefully." Therefore, man has no excuse. Whenever man makes an inaccurate statement concerning God, or concerning man, or concerning anything the Bible touches upon (which includes everything important), man is guilty of misrepresenting what God has said.
  6. In Russia they have a strange practice of revising history. Whenever a communist falls into disfavor, they erase him from all the photographs. For example, there were many important figures photographed standing next to Stalin, but now when you look at the picture they are missing. They have been brushed out. They disappeared down the memory hole!
  7. People try and do this with Godís Word. The Bible says God created man in His own image and likeness, but man tries to change the picture and teach that man has evolved from a monkey.
  8. God says only those who trust in Jesus Christ will make it to heaven, but man tries to change the picture to include just about everyone.
  9. God says hell is a literal place of fire and brimstone and eternal torment, but man tries to take the fire out of hell. Of all the doctrines of the Bible, the doctrine of hell has been the most distorted.
  10. Beloved, let us go to the Bible see what God says about these things. We can be certain that this will be an accurate picture.
  11. Today, we will look at three pictures: an accurate picture of the sinner, an accurate picture of the Saviour, and an accurate picture of the saint.



    1. This psalm is loaded with words that accurately describe sinful man Ė "transgression of the wickedÖno fear of God before his eyes" (Ps.36:1).
    2. "Transgression" means rebellion. According to the Bible, all unregenerate men are wicked rebels (36:1).
    3. How can a man lie and cheat and steal and commit adultery and read pornography and kill? Why does he take Godís name in vain and skip church and treat other people so poorly?
    4. It is because "there is no fear of God before his eyes" (Ps.36:1; cf. Rom.3:18).
    5. Spurgeon said, "Those eyes which have no fear of God before them now, shall have the terrors of hell before them for ever."
    6. Spurgeon notes that the Scriptural expression, "Not having the fear of God before his eyes," had become interwoven into proceedings in criminal courts, adding: "When a man has no fear of God, he is prepared for any crime."
    7. This is certainly true. Once a man loses the fear of God, he opens himself up to all sorts of wickedness. Sinners that are in this condition have persuaded themselves that they can get away with their sin. But the Bible says, "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num.32:23).
    8. I recently read a survey that said 50% of Americans do not consider homosexuality a sin. But God certainly says it is a sin (Lev.18:22; Rom.1:26-32).
    9. But because man has no fear of God, he rejects Godís Word and accepts a perverted lifestyle that God calls an abomination.
    10. Mark it down. Any politician or any so-called minister who advocates homosexuality is a wicked reprobate. They can flatter themselves and they can deceive others but God will take care of them in due time (Ps.36:2,3,12).
    11. I read an article about a fascinating experiment done with rats. They placed a rat in a big cage with two openings, one on each end. One opening was square, the other round.
    12. When the rat became hungry he would go out through the square hole and receive some food. But when he went through the round hole he would get zapped with an electric shock. Naturally he learned very quickly to stay away from the round hole and only go through the square hole.
    13. But they slowly and gradually started rounding out the square hole till it started looking a lot like the other hole. Before long the rat was confused and could not tell them apart. His powers of discrimination started to fail on him, and he started running around the cage totally disorientated and confused.
    14. He became agitated and upset and had a nervous breakdown. This is what is happening to people today. The truth of Godís Word is being blurred by wicked men. Now instead of an accurate picture, they only see a blurred picture and they no longer can tell right from wrong. They are confused, angry, and bitter.
    15. They are drowning in sin, having nervous breakdowns, breaking up marriages, tearing apart families, getting hooked on drugs and alcohol Ė like crazy rats running around in a cage.
    16. Have you noticed that whenever there is a tragedy like a school shooting, the newspapers are full of interviews with psychiatrists? They seldom seek out preachers. Or if they do it is usually some liberal who rejects the Bible.
    17. Before we move on to the next picture, let us take one more close look at this accurate picture of the sinner:
    • He is a wicked rebel Ė "The transgression of the wicked" (36:1).
    • He has no fear of God (36:1). This is the #1 sin in America today.
    • He is deluded Ė "For he flattereth himself in his own eyes" (36:2). He considers himself a very fine fellow, worthy of respect, open-minded Ė not like these narrow-minded, fanatical fundamentalists who take the Bible so literally. No, he is a free-thinker. "For he flattereth himself in his own eyes," and by doing so he soothes his conscience and eases his way into hell.
    • His iniquity is "found to be hateful" (36:2). Eventually he is exposed to shame and contempt. He is found out and detested, despite his self-conceit.
    • He is deceitful (36:3). {cf. CHS quote in bulletin.}
    • He is foolish Ė "he hath left off to be wise, and to do good" (36:3).
    • He is mischievous. He even lays in his bed at night thinking of evil things to do (36:4a). It is not that he is suddenly overtaken in an unexpected temptation; his mischief is planned out ahead of time. As one old commentator said, "Diligence in doing evil is a mark of deep depravity."
    • He is wayward Ė "he setteth himself in a way that is not good" (36:4b).
    • He is an unrepentant sinner Ė "he abhorreth not evil" (36:4). Rather than hating evil, he patronizes in it; he practices it; he defends it; and he rejoices in it. What a graphic picture we have here of a wretched, hell-bound sinner!



    1. Now that we have had a close look at Godís accurate picture of the sinner, let us take a close look at Godís accurate picture of Himself (36:5-7).
    2. What a startling contrast! After being brought down into the gutter to look at sinful man, God brings us up into the heavens to get a glimpse of His divine attributes Ė His mercy and His faithfulness (36:5), His righteousness (36:6,10), and His loving-kindness (36:7,10).
    3. What a beautiful picture of the matchless mercy and faithfulness of God Ė "in the heavens" and reaching "unto the clouds" (36:5). How could mortal man ever comprehend such a picture?
    4. David says Godís "righteousness is like the great mountains," and His "judgments are a great deep" (36:6).
    5. I am reminded of that great hymn, "Wonderful Grace of Jesus."

                        Wonderful grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin;

                        How shall my tongue describe it, Where shall its praise begin?

                        Taking away my burden, Setting my spirit free;

                        For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

                        Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,

                        Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;

                        Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,

                        All sufficient grace for even me.

    1. As David refers to the heavens, and the clouds, and the mountains, and the deep sea, we are reminded that God is our Creator. But man has rebelled against His Creator.
    2. In the public schools, children are not taught to honor their Creator, but instead are indoctrinated by evolution, and humanism, and sex education, and all sorts of wickedness.
    3. In the RC schools, children are not taught to honor their Creator, but instead are taught to bow down to idols, and to pray to statues.
    4. The Bible says when the apostle Paul visited Athens, and saw all of the idolatry, "his spirit was stirred in him" (Acts 17:16,22-25). Paul taught them that God has "made the world and all things therein" (Acts 17:24).



    1. We have seen some accurate pictures today in Psalm 36. Now let us look at this accurate picture of the saints.
    2. By the way, when your RC friends ask you if your church has any statues of the saints, you can tell them, "No, but we have some nice pictures of the saints on the wall."
    3. Now, we have some pictures on the wall, but some of the saints are telling me they are not very accurate.
    4. But when God takes a picture it is always an accurate picture. In this picture we see safety.
    5. Godís children "put their trust under the shadow of Godís wings" (36:7b). This is the safest place to be. But how sad that most people have rejected this safety and this security. Therefore they must suffer the consequences (cf. Matt.23:37,38).
    6. Those of us who have received Christ as our Saviour have found safety under His wings. We have security under His wings. He has said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:27,28).
    7. Not only have we found safety, and security, but we have also found true satisfaction (Psalm 36:8). The Hebrew word translated "pleasures" is "Eden."
    8. How sad that men have gone after the pleasures and follies of sin rather than find true satisfaction in Christ. The devil blinds men into thinking that he can deliver lasting pleasure, but it only leads to despair, disillusionment, and death.
    9. "For with Thee is the fountain of life" (36:9a). The Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, left Puerto Rico looking for the Fountain of Life. He wound up in Florida instead. Too bad nobody showed him the true "fountain of life" (36:9; cf. John 4:13,14).
    10. "In thy light shall we see light" (236:9b). Again we must go to Johnís Gospel to see that the Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world (John 1:1-12; 8:12).
    11. Notice the connection between light and life (John 8:12; 1:4; cf. Ps.36:9).


  1. Before I finish, let me ask this question: Are you walking in the light, the blessed Gospel light? Or are you still in darkness? Are you like the sinful man so accurately pictured for us here in Ps.36:1-4?
  2. Or are you like the saved man accurately pictured here in verses 8-11?
  3. If you are in the first picture, please heed the warning found in 36:12. The defeat of the ungodly is final, total, and irretrievable.
  4. Psalm 36 is linked with the next psalm, Psalm 37 (cf. 37:1).
  5. Psalm 36:12 describes Godís judgment upon "the workers of iniquity," and in Psalm 37 God says not to worry about them, "For they shall soon be cut down like the grass" (37:2; cf. 37:9,10,1728,34,38).

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