No matter where you look you will find a very bold display of indecency. Every kind of deviance, immorality, and obscenity is to be flaunted and celebrated. Recently, during a campaign speech, Hillary Clinton, who is pursuing her parties’ nomination for the presidency of the United States of America, made it clear that she celebrates homosexuality as a viable expression of “love”. During that speech at the exact time of her verbal endorsement of same-sex marriage, and apparently perfectly choreographed, two male spectators were filmed kissing as they stood in the background crowd just over Hillary’s right shoulder. The message was clear: “. I’m carrying this issue on my shoulders!”
Hollywood continues to churn out entertainment that is heavy on profanity and pornography while folks who say that they love morality keep on funding and consuming whatever is playing on the big screen. My own mind is so eager to ponder any form of evil that I’ll allow. And my heart is quick to be drawn to my own list of secret sins.
How are we to respond to a world that contends against God? How are we to react to our own propensity to live as if He doesn’t exist? How does God view such a world as ours? That question is addressed in Psalm 53 that David (no slouch of a sinner himself) uses as a musical teaching tool to instruct God’s people how to view a world in which sin runs rampant.
This Psalm is an almost word-for-word repetition of Psalm 14. The only significant variance is found in 53:5. It’s likely that David revisited and rewrote this Psalm as a result of some national remembrance or happening in Israel. Perhaps he is looking back on some significant victory or calamitous defeat that occasioned his desire to give this instruction. It provides for us the proper view of the sinful world in which we live and the greatest need for our times. We must come to understand three facts:
- The Heart of Human Depravity (53:1-3)
I suppose that it would be easy for all of us to look at the situation of the world today, not to mention our own proclivity towards sin, and say that perhaps the problem is merely on the outside. We might think that were we simply to change political policy or agenda that we would quickly then experience a moral renaissance. But when God looks at the world, He doesn’t see the need for improvement or realignment but rather He sees a world of spiritual ignorance. God sees a world of “fools”. The word “fool” here, according to Steven J. Lawson, “does not mean a person of mental incompetence, but a person of moral insensitivity and spiritual ignorance” (Holman Old Testament Commentary, Psalm 1-75, p. 275).
It is this fool who says that there is no God “in his heart”. This is a reference to the inner man. This is who the man is. He doesn’t need to be convinced by some external evidence that God exists, it’s a much deeper issue than that. Men love sin because that’s in perfect alignment with his heart. It is an issue of the heart.
- The Horror of Future Destruction (53:4-5)
David pictures the wickedness of the wicked as they express their disdain for God by fighting against His people. He says that they “eat up my people as they eat bread”. Thus, they “do not call upon God”. They face the certainty of future destruction.
- The Hope of Divine Deliverance (53:6)
Finally, there is the only hope in such a time…salvation out of Zion from God as the only joy of His people! That is the only cause of true joy!