‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ Hebrews 4:7b
In the first verse of today’s Bible passage, the deceitfulness of sin is depicted impressively. ‘Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts’ (NRSV). Here sin is portrayed as a person. We see this more often in the Bible, for example in Genesis 4:7, where it is written that ‘sin is crouching at your door’. Satan himself speaks deep in the heart of the sinner, so deep, that the sinner thinks these are his own thoughts.
When the Holy Spirit truly guides us, then He firstly distinguishes between the sin and us. In this light Paul says, ‘Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it’ (Romans 7:20). And elsewhere is written, 'And the word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit' (Ephesians 6:17) 'judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart' (Hebrews 4:12).
Hereby it becomes clear that the first four verses of psalm 36 describe a person in whom the distinction between light and darkness has not yet taken place. Contrary to that, the verses five to nine describe the person in whom the Spirit of God came to reign. ‘In Your light we see light.’ Therefore, this psalm is God’s mirror to all of us.
He who still has high expectations of himself, will persist in his blindness until the wickedness of his heart - inevitably - will be exposed and his smugness will turn into self-loathing and hopelessness. Actually, it is a blessing when this happens to us, for in this dire need we may learn to call upon God anew.
Jesus says that all who call upon Him, will be answered. And when God answers us, He lifts us up through Jesus, out of all our dark unworthiness into His light. ‘For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.’