Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Psalm 53

1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.

2 God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on God.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
you put them to shame, for God despised them.

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

Questions to consider:

  • Compare and contrast this psalm with Psalm 14. Account for the similarities and differences.
  • List and consider the characteristics of the sons of men. How are these characteristics an extension of their basic attitudes toward God?
  • What is God's future for such people?
  • What kinds of attitudes about life and God do you consider foolish or wise? Why?
  • With what does God equate wisdom and understanding?
  • By the above definition, to what extent are you wise?
Possibilities for prayer:

The end of this psalm is filled with hope. The author of the psalm does not write, "If God restores his people," but rather, "When God restores his people." Do we have the same hope that David exudes in this psalm? Do we live lives that state confidently that God restores, rather than questioning the possibility of that restoration? Today, let's ask God to make us beacons of the hope we see at the end of this psalm, living lives that declare God's goodness in faith and trust.