The grievous estate of the wicked, 1-4. The excellency of God's mercy, 8, 9. David prays for favor to God's children, 10-12.
1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the Servant of the LORD.] The transgression of the wicked says within my heart that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes until his iniquity is found to be hateful.
3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit. He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
4 He devises mischief upon his bed. He sets himself in a way that is not good. He does not abhor evil.
5 Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains. Your judgments are a great deep. O LORD, you preserve man and beast.
7 How excellent your loving-kindness is, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings.
8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house, and you shall make them drink of the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life. In your light we shall see light.
10 O continue your loving-kindness to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 Do not let the foot of pride come against me, and do not let the hand of the wicked remove me.
12 There the workers of iniquity have fallen. They are cast down and shall not be able to rise.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 36[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
Almost all interpreters agree in supposing, that in this psalm David in general expresses his wonder and amazement at the goodness of God, because, in the exercise of his favor and mercy, he bears with the wicked, who, notwithstanding, basely contemn him. The opinion which I have formed is somewhat different. I think that the holy prophet, being grievously troubled and harassed by wicked and ungodly men, first complains of their depravity, and then seeks refuge in the infinite goodness of God, which extends not only to all men in general, but in a particular and special manner to his own children; and this he does in order to console, and, so to speak, take his breath, in the assurance that he shall at length be delivered since God is favorable to him. This is evident from the conclusion of the psalm, in which he arms and fortifies himself against all the assaults of the ungodly, by reflecting that he is safe under the protection of God.
[v.1] - Quoted in Romans 3:18.