Reading the Word
Psalm 53:1–6 (ESV)
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. 4 Have those who work evil no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God? 5 There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them. 6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
Understanding and Applying the Word
This psalm contrasts two groups of people: those who are fools and ignore God and those who trust in the Lord. The first group says that there is no God and feel they can do as they please. They commit themselves to all kinds of evil and have no fear in doing so. On the other hand, God’s people often suffer at the hands of the foolish. Because of this suffering, God’s people often fear those who are committed to evil.
This psalm tells us that the wrong group is fearful. The foolish do not fear, but should because they will answer to God for their sin. God’s people have no reason to fear. Verse 5 reads, “There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror!” God will take care of his people and he will bring those who practice evil into judgment.
Who or what do you fear? Who or what are you trusting in? Fear the Lord and trust in him. He will protect and he will save.
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