Today’s reading of Psalm 53 may have felt familiar to you. Psalm 53 is almost identical to Psalm 14. They were both penned by David at different points in his life, but with the same theme – the depravity of man. When the Bible repeats itself, that’s a clue for us to zero in on what God is trying to say to us through it; it’s important.
What does it mean for us to say, “There is no God”? In Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David, he says, “No God, being interpreted, means no law, no order, no restraint to lust, no limit to passion.” I think that really sums it up well; no law, no order, no restraint, no limit. Isn’t that what fuels the battle between our spirit and our flesh? When we live our lives as if there’s no God, we are saying that we are in charge and what we will or will not restrain or limit is up to us. David says that to do that is foolish.
2 God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.
This verse really stood out to me because of the choice of words that David uses. In verse 1 he lays out the case that those who say there is no God have actions that are corrupt and evil. The word disobedience pops into my mind when I think of actions that are corrupt and evil – actions that are outside of God’s will. So, I would expect David to say that God looks down to see if anyone is obedient, is anyone doing the right thing. But he uses the word wise in the NLT, and understand or understands in the Amplified Bible, NIV and NKJV. I love that because obedience for the sake of obedience never wins our hearts. It’s in the wisdom or understanding that comes from truly knowing that God’s guardrails for us are not given out of the need to control us, but the desire to love us.
As corrupt as the world around us may seem to be today, it’s still a world with God in it and He is still active and in control. We don’t know what a world completely void of God looks like, but that’s what Hell will be like – eternal separation from the goodness that God’s presence brings.
I pray for wisdom nearly every day of my life and have for a long time. It’s probably the most consistent prayer I’ve ever prayed. I want the kind of wisdom that causes me to seek after God with all I’ve got and to do battle with the areas of my life that are far from what He wants for me. He is so patient and faithful to show me where I’ve gotten off track and wraps me in His arms when I come back. God will restore His people, if we let Him.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach