Lesson 11, Series 2, Psalm 36, Lectio Divina

Psalm 36 (NLT)

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.
They have no fear of God at all.
In their blind conceit,
they cannot see how wicked they really are.
Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.
They refuse to act wisely or do good.
They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots.
Their actions are never good.
They make no attempt to turn from evil.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
    How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.

10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
give justice to those with honest hearts.
11 Don’t let the proud trample me
or the wicked push me around.
12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen!
They are thrown down, never to rise again.

PREPARATION

Sit in a quiet place (preferably outside, weather permitting) with your Bible and journal handy.  Spend a few minutes listening to the quiet—to the sounds that usually go by unnoticed—and clear your mind of the distractions of the day.

LECTIO

Read through the entire Psalm, aloud if possible.  As you read, notice the contrast between the wicked in the first stanza and the Lord in the second stanza.  As you read through a second time, highlight or write in your journal any words or phrases that catch your attention as you read.

MEDITATIO

Return to the words or phrases that caught your attention.  Repeat them, aloud if possible, until they become familiar to you.  Try to visualize the words as you recite them again.  Record—either in words or drawing–the images that have meaning to your situation to help you remember them.

ORATIO

As you pray today, reread the Psalm, beginning in verse 5, as a prayer.  Praise God for who he is.  Listen to the message of comfort and hope as you pray these words in praise to God.

CONTEMPLATIO

Record in your journal any thoughts that stand out to you.  Write down the ways in which God has spoken to your heart through the words of this Psalm.  Take time to rest in the hope that is found in the knowledge that God’s love is unfailing.

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