Psalm 53:1-6 No One Good
David is singing a sad lament. He looks around him and sees that “there is none who does good, not even one” (verse 3b). A very sad day in Israel to be sure!
I’m wondering when this time is in David’s life when he sees NO ONE around him who is faithful to the Lord. If my math is right, this would include David in the “not even one” number. What is going on in David’s life that has brought him to this spot?
Elijah once told God that he was the only faithful one left. Elijah was feeling lonely and alone in his service. God informed him that He had 500 men secreted away who were still faithful. I wonder what God answered David to this psalm.
The first line in this psalm is one that is forever true! It takes a “fool” to say, and mean, there is no God. This person is more than spiritually blind. They have to be completely ignorant too. It takes a dedicated mind to say there is no God when looking at all God has made. The intricacy of each flower. The march of the seasons. The tides of the ocean. The birth of a child. ALL these things and SO MANY MORE speak of a Creator, of God.
I have probably told this story before but today’s first verse brought it back to my mind. My oldest two grandchildren were visiting me one day. Their father was NOT bringing them up in the ways of the Lord and they were buying whole hog into the theory of evolution. I decided an object lesson was in order.
I had a trunk full of Lego bricks. There were a few other toys mixed in with them. I had the boys help me take everything except the Legos out of the trunk. When this was done I took a moment and asked them how everything in the world was made. They went into some long drawn out explanation of “there was nothing and there was something.” I asked them who made the ‘something’ and they said that no one did. Now the stage was set.
“Do you see all these Legos here? I’m going to close the lid and wait. When I open it there will be a Lego plane ready for you to play with.”
“NO WAY” was there unified answer. Which drove my next question; “Why not?”
“Because somebody has to make it” they replied.
“Exactly!” I said. It is MUCH harder to believe that NO ONE made all that is our world than to believe that no one is needed to put together a Lego toy.” That got their minds to thinking. Hopefully that seed bears a lot of fruit in their lives.
David’s psalm would have fit perfectly in the time of Noah. It is also actually true for ALL of us. There is not a single one of us who has not, at some point in our lives, failed this test of God looking down for even one who is continually faithful. “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And that is exactly why He had to send Jesus, His Son, to stand in our place.
The tenor of David’s psalm seems to shift after God sees “not one” person who is faithful. The song then feels like an Israel against the world psalm. Israel is in trouble and David is sending her comfort. “For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put then to shame for God has rejected them” (verse 5b).
There is an undercurrent of David chastising Israel because their trouble. He knows that their problem is their own doing. It has come upon them for their own infidelity. He looks towards a time when salvation will indeed come out of Zion for ALL God’s people. He doesn’t say it but we know that Salvation has come through Jesus. And there is still coming a time when God restores the fortunes of ALL His people!
Father God, I would have like to be able to say; “Here I am! I’m faithful” but I KNOW that would be a lie. I have had more than my share of ‘unfaithful’ times. I have fallen short far too often. But I CAN say; “Here I am! YOUR child, clinging to my Savior.”
One day ALL will be complete. There will be no more sin. There will be no more fools who try and deny You. EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess that TRULY You are Lord! I’m looking forward to that day! Until then, help me keep planting seeds.