Naturally, when something is repeated in the Bible — sometimes not just once, but several times — God is trying to hammer it into our hearts. Psalm 53 is a perfect example of His call to us to continuously Seek Him. Let’s dig in…
For the choir director: A meditation; a psalm (maskil) of David.
1 Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!
2 God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
3 But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
4 Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to God.
5 Terror will grip them,
terror like they have never known before.
God will scatter the bones of your enemies.
You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
6 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?Psalm 53 NLT
When God restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
Where have I heard this before?
If you’re a subscriber to my blog and/or podcast, or even a regular student of the Bible, these words will sound familiar. They reflect Psalm 14. Obviously, since I’ve covered that psalm already, you can go to that study. What I want to emphasize today is when we find repeated verses in the Bible, they cry out, “PAY ATTENTION!!!” It’s God trying to get us to stop and ponder about His message to us. It’s Him say, “Hey, this is IMPORTANT!”
Obviously, just sitting and reading a Bible chapter — or even a few verses — is not enough. We must STUDY IT.
Old Testament Quoted in the New Testament
Naturally, most of the New Testament writers had to quote the Old Testament scriptures so that the people of the 1st century would understand that what was written centuries before them, was significant.
The words of Psalm 53 don’t just mirror Psalm 14, but Paul quotes these verses in Romans to show us how sinful we are…
All People Are Sinners and Need to Seek Him
9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “They rush to commit murder.
16 Destruction and misery always follow them.
17 They don’t know where to find peace.”
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Christ Took Our Punishment
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.Romans 3:9-24 NLT
Paul quoted the words of Psalm 53 — and other psalms (I encourage you to look this passage up in the Bible app and look at the other footnotes) — to remind us that we are all doomed sinners, however, Jesus solved the problem for us.
God wants us to continually SEEK HIM. What exactly does that mean?
What about devotionals?
Devotionals are nice when you need a quick pick-me-up, but it’s just that — a Bible bite. It’s not enough. Moreover, intentionally studying the Bible nourishes your soul, gives you peace, wisdom and understanding.
Each time you sit to study the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart, mind and eyes to grasp what He wants you know. He’ll help you wrap your brain around it.
Let’s Review the Points in this Psalm…
The major points in this psalm are repeated elsewhere in the Bible…
- You are a fool if you reject God’s authority and make gods of your own desires. For example, idols, praying to pagan images, dead people, if you are prideful, aka, worshiping yourself. (Also echoed in Isaiah 53)
- Our nature is selfish, and we submit to corrupt means to achieve our desires. (Stated in Jeremiah 13 and 17).
- Additionally, Paul reiterates that ALL PEOPLE have become morally corrupt, denying God’s authority over their lives and rebel against Him. (Romans 5)
Then Christ Came!
Thank God the Father that He loved us so much that He didn’t want us to end up in hell.
I’m going to turn to the good folks at Spoken Gospel for more insight…
When God looked down from heaven on mankind he found only one who did good, only one was wise, and only one obeyed God. That man was Jesus. God was pleased when he saw him (Mark 1:10-11). Jesus did good even though he was surrounded by evil and Jesus was selfless in the midst of selfish fools (1 John 3:5; Matthew 13:54). But Jesus fell prey to the ravenous evil of foolish men. He became the bread that wicked fools devoured.
When he died on the cross by their hands, God took the wickedness of fools and destroyed it in Jesus (Isaiah 53:6). In Jesus, God took on our foolishness and gave us his wisdom.And the resurrection of Jesus proves that God will rescue those who fall prey to the evil of the foolish.
God let Jesus die like a fool, but he raised Jesus like the good and wise son who pleases him in every way. Jesus’ death consumed selfish foolishness, so now fools can call on God, become wise, and do good! And through Jesus, God kills the proud and rescues his people!Spoken Gospel
Have YOU Accepted God’s Rescue?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…