For the director of music. According to mahalath. A maskil of David. 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!
Wow, this passage is very direct. God looks for people who are wise and who seek God – there is not one. It’s an overwhelming conclusion about all of us. Verse 3b in The Message version says the following:
“Sheep, taking turns pretending to be Shepherd. The ninety and nine follow the one.“
Easy to see how this is true when we look at how the world works. We follow each other, worry about what someone else thinks of us or what we do or what we are able to do. This idea that we pretend to be in charge of our own life – to be shepherd – is interesting. It is easy to fall into that process. Talking to God about our daily decisions takes time and means we have to slow down instead of just getting on with things. Seems easier to just do what everyone else does.
Then verse 6 says
“Is there anyone around to save Israel? God turns life around. Turned-around Jacob skips rope, turned-around Israel sings laughter.”
Skipping rope and singing with laughter – these paint such a great picture of what being in God’s family brings. Childlike joy and love fill our lives when God is at the centre of all we do.
Thank you that you saved us, that you save us now. Thank you, Jesus, that you paid the price for our lack of wisdom, our idea that we know best. Thank you that you want to help us live life well and that you want to fill our lives with joy, love and grace. What a blessing. Amen.
Written by Therese Manning