Psalm 53

Services

Sunday - 9:00 AM & 11 AM Worship Service | 9:00 am & 11 AM Sunday School

by: FCC Staff

05/18/2022

0

1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand,[bwho seek after God.

They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.  

If you have read the Book of Psalms in its entirety, you’ve no doubt had moments of déjà vu. Times when you are sure you’ve read one of the psalms before. Psalm 53 would be one of those instances. Psalm 53 is a repetition of Psalm 14, almost exactly the same with just minor differences. Why does it appear twice? Evidently it was a part of two separate collections of Psalms, Books 1 and 2, that were later combined without the elimination of the psalm from either collection. 

This duplication highlights the universal importance of what it communicates - that the battle between belief and unbelief is the most significant warfare in the history of the world. Everything on this side of eternity depends upon the outcome of this battle. To believe that God lives, and that He sets standards of moral and ethical behavior for humankind, and to believe that we are ultimately responsible to Him, provides meaning, purpose, and direction to life. Without this belief, one may deceive himself into thinking that he has freedom to live without restrictions, that he is the master of his fate, the captain of his soul. If this is true, then it is also true that all others are equally unrestricted, and too soon it becomes obvious that people so liberated are free primarily to destroy both themselves and others. 

This is a danger we all face. In the words of Paul in Romans, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23) Our only hope of experiencing and bestowing goodness to others is to accept God’s gift of grace, “…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:24-25) This is the path, when chosen, that leads us toward true freedom, freedom in Christ.

This week, as you attempt to navigate the storms of life, consider who is at the helm. It is tempting to white-knuckle the wheel, maintaining control of every decision. However, that will not provide the best result. The best outcome surely comes from a relationship with, and obedience to, God. Paul reminds his readers, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Love God by obeying His direction, no matter how difficult it may seem or uncomfortable it will surely be. It is within that loving obedience that we experience real meaning, purpose, and direction in life.

Prayer for today: Lord God, give us the courage to follow Your lead in our lives. You have given us everything we need to serve You effectively. Help us keep that in mind and remind us of Your goodness. Thank You for Your provision and power. Amen.

1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand,[bwho seek after God.

They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.  

If you have read the Book of Psalms in its entirety, you’ve no doubt had moments of déjà vu. Times when you are sure you’ve read one of the psalms before. Psalm 53 would be one of those instances. Psalm 53 is a repetition of Psalm 14, almost exactly the same with just minor differences. Why does it appear twice? Evidently it was a part of two separate collections of Psalms, Books 1 and 2, that were later combined without the elimination of the psalm from either collection. 

This duplication highlights the universal importance of what it communicates - that the battle between belief and unbelief is the most significant warfare in the history of the world. Everything on this side of eternity depends upon the outcome of this battle. To believe that God lives, and that He sets standards of moral and ethical behavior for humankind, and to believe that we are ultimately responsible to Him, provides meaning, purpose, and direction to life. Without this belief, one may deceive himself into thinking that he has freedom to live without restrictions, that he is the master of his fate, the captain of his soul. If this is true, then it is also true that all others are equally unrestricted, and too soon it becomes obvious that people so liberated are free primarily to destroy both themselves and others. 

This is a danger we all face. In the words of Paul in Romans, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23) Our only hope of experiencing and bestowing goodness to others is to accept God’s gift of grace, “…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:24-25) This is the path, when chosen, that leads us toward true freedom, freedom in Christ.

This week, as you attempt to navigate the storms of life, consider who is at the helm. It is tempting to white-knuckle the wheel, maintaining control of every decision. However, that will not provide the best result. The best outcome surely comes from a relationship with, and obedience to, God. Paul reminds his readers, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Love God by obeying His direction, no matter how difficult it may seem or uncomfortable it will surely be. It is within that loving obedience that we experience real meaning, purpose, and direction in life.

Prayer for today: Lord God, give us the courage to follow Your lead in our lives. You have given us everything we need to serve You effectively. Help us keep that in mind and remind us of Your goodness. Thank You for Your provision and power. Amen.

cancel save

0 Comments on this post:

Plan your visit