After a little break for saint’s days and site launches I return to my new sequence on the psalms.Psalm 36, is one of those psalms that suddenly shifts in tone part way through and rises to the sublime. It starts, as so many psalms in anger and frustration at the manifest evils in the world:
MY HEART sheweth me the wickedness of the ungodly: that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For he flattereth himself in his own sight: until his abominable sin be found out.
but then, from the fifth verse on our vision is suddenly lifted, quite literally, into the heavens:
Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto the heavens: and thy faithfulness unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness standeth like the strong mountains: thy judgements are like the great deep.
And then comes, the master image of the psalm, one of the most sublime images in all of Scripture:
For with thee is the well of life: and in thy light shall we see light.
In my responsive poem I have dwelt on that image, together with the other lovely phrases that precedes it:
the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house: and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the river.
As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
As pilgrim souls on whom your light has shone
Let us leave judgement to your tender mercy
And turn instead to you, keep pressing on
Towards the steadfast heights, the mountain country
Of your holy presence. Let us drink
From that swift river, our true ecstacy.
Refresh us Christ, and bring us to the brink
Of that deep well where life itself is light
And goodness, more than we can dream or think,
Flows from your plenteousness, from your delight
In all your works, and where your loving kindness
Shines through our day and comforts us at night,
Like soft wings safely overarching us,
That we might put our utter trust in you
And fret no more for passing wickedness.
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