1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have 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 the Lord. 5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. 6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. 7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
I find this Psalm quite hard to read, possibly due to its accurately chilling assessment of the failures of humankind. But I am incredibly thankful that David wrote it and that it was meticulously recorded and handed down from generation to generation, archived and transcribed for thousands of years.
I am thankful that I get to read David’s inspired thoughts on human shortcomings, but I am also thankful because this passage from the Psalms became a foundation of Paul’s theological explanation of our need for the saving work of Christ in his letter to the Romans (Chapter 3:10-12 is where he quotes this Psalm).
The more I read the Bible, the more I become aware of the tensions that exist in scripture. But I also have become increasingly aware that this book is simply astonishing. It was written over a period of nearly 2000 years across 3 continents in several languages, by people from a vast number of occupations and perspectives, yet it has a consistency that enables me to trust it with my life, for eternity.
Thank you Lord that you have given us your timeless word.
Written by Ps Justin Ware