“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.”
Psalm 53: 1
The introduction to this Psalm calls for the ‘Director of Music’ to use a particular tune, mahalath. In some of its forms this word appears to signify, disease; hence the title of this blog, the Song of Humankind’s Disease. This song, though, has an ending full of hope.
Psalm 53 is a near repeat of Psalm 14 with some minor changes. For example the ‘deeds’ (14:1) of the wicked have now become their ‘ways’ (53: 1), and the people that had ‘turned aside’ (14:1), have now ‘turned away,’ (53:2). It seems that, however long the interval between writing these Psalms, David has simply observed a worsening of humankind’s disease.
This disease, arises from the denial of God; unbelief in Him. This is utter folly as the evidence of God’s existence is everywhere. The symptoms of this disease are: corruption; vile behaviour, acts of evil and violence. This disease causes dis-ease as another symptom is fear, even when there are no causal factors. The increase of knowledge has not lessened this behaviour.
The solution is to believe in God and to call upon Him. He is the source of all salvation and is able to restore humankind, bringing real joy to the hearts of His creation.
These two Psalms (14 & 53) depict the reality of sin, the denial of and unbelief in God. This is a situation where individuals believe in themselves and their own created truths instead of God. We see the result of this sin in the world and in our lives today. We also see that it is our hearts that are the source of this sin (1). C. H. Spurgeon describes this condition defined in these Psalms as the: Fact of Sin; the Fault of Sin; the Folly of Sin; the Filthiness of Sin; the Fruit of Sin; and the Fear that attends sin.
Wonderfully there is a solution, the salvation that God offers us by His grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. His Son can be our Saviour because Jesus died in our place and then rose again defeating death and the power of sin. Through this means of salvation God restores us to what we were created to be in relationship with Him. A joy that is not of this world is simply one of the blessings He bestows (Ephesians 2: 8-9; Colossians 1: 21-23).
The Question of Application
God can be seen in Jesus Christ, in His creation, in the Bible, in the Church and in those who truly believe in Him. Above all, He can be seen AND known in our hearts with the presence of His Holy Spirit through our faith in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3: 16). Do you see God?
God of hope, help us to see you and to put our faith in you. Lead us to repentance and new life. In times of trouble save us from blind despair and help us to wait in confidence for the blessings that we cannot imagine. May our lives be a testimony to your love and truth so as to encourage the world in which we live, and to give you glory and honour. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen
Come Thou Fount of every blessing sung by Chris Tomlin
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.