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A Season of Psalms - Psalm 53:1-3a, 6a

Psalm 53:1-3a, 6a

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, who seek after God. They have all fallen away…Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!”

English Standard Version (ESV)

Have you ever had déjà vu? It’s that overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn’t be familiar at all. In the 1984 slapstick comedy Top Secret starring Val Kilmer, there is a French character by the name of Déjà Vu. When he first meets Val Kilmer’s character of American heartthrob Nick Rivers, Déjà Vu asks, “Have we not met before, Monsieur?” After Nick Rivers denies a previous meeting, Déjà Vu does a few double-takes but is still not completely convinced.

If you’re having déjà vu with Psalm 53, turn to Psalm 14 and you’ll notice that they’re nearly identical. Psalm 53, in a way, carries on the theme of Psalm 52, the one who fails to make God his refuge but trusts in himself and in his own abundance. This person is a fool, the psalm says, openly denying God’s omnipresence. Such people are corrupt, drowning in unfathomable iniquity. To make matters worse, God is peering down from heaven to see if there any on the planet who seek after God. You can almost hear the hopefulness in verse 2: “Is there anyone who seeks after God?” Hope quickly turns to heartbreak in verse 3: “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” But hope returns at the end of the psalm, when the psalmist cries out, “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!”

Salvation did come, in the person of Christ Jesus. In fulfillment of prophecy, Christ came in the fullness of time to redeem those under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons of God. When we accept Christ in faith, our unrighteousness is dressed in his righteousness, and when God looks down from heaven upon His people, what does He see? He sees the lost, the lonely, and the least…all of us, in Christ! And with confidence and joy we can say with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” He lives inside our hearts. Good news: He’s always close by and never far away when we need Him!

Further Reading: Galatians 4:3-11; Lamentations 3:1-27

Pray with me:

Thank you, oh my Father, for sending us Your Son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done. We pray in the name of Jesus our Hope, Amen.

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