The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,”
Psalm 53 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Folly and Wickedness of Men.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,”
They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice;
There is no one who does good.
2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
4 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge,
Who eat up My people as though they ate bread
And have not called upon God?
5 There they were in great fear where no fear had been;
For God scattered the bones of him who encamped against you;
You put them to shame, because God had rejected them.
6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores His captive people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
In Exodus 20:2-6 God begins giving the Ten Commandments saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments… In today’s text the psalmist begins saying: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” By his standard, there are many who are foolish today. There are many who doubt or deny the existence of God. Even though it is more difficult to explain the existence of all of creation through their theories, they deny that there is a God because they cannot comprehend who He is, that He is omniscient, omnipresent, infinite and eternal. They only believe what their finite mind can believe. Or, perhaps they deny the existence of God because, if they accept that He is, then they must acknowledge that He sovereign and He is also above all. If they acknowledge God, then they must be subject to Him. While it is foolish to say that there is no God, it violates God’s commandments to say that there are many or other gods greater than He is. God says: “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness (image) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Many people try to create their own image of who God is or what He is like. They pick out only the parts of His character that go along with their own way of thinking. They create a doctrine and then recreate the character of God based on their doctrine. Some create the image of a God who is holy, righteous and will judge and convict sinners for their unrighteousness. Others create a God who is only love, mercy and grace. They leave out God’s holiness and righteousness. The psalmist says: They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. Because the hearts and minds of men are corrupt and evil, they create a god or an image of God, who accepts and embraces evil. In Genesis 1:26-28 it says: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God created us to be like Him, in His image and likeness. We are to be holy and righteous, as He is. We are not to recreate God into our image. Even though we turned aside, away from what God intended, we are to be recreated; to conform to His image. Romans 8:28-29 says: We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. God doesn’t cause the evil that is in the world. He doesn’t do the things that cause many to question why a good God would allow bad things to happen. Evil things are the result and the cause of evil. God is good. The good, merciful, gracious, loving and compassionate God will cause the evil things that happen to work together for our good. He will use those things to demonstrate His goodness compared to evil. He will allow those things to draw us to His goodness, His mercy, His grace and His love, that we might become like Him.
The psalmist says: Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores His captive people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad. We, God’s people, have turned away from Him and become captive to sin. Because God is a merciful, gracious, compassionate and loving God, He restored and restores us. Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God’s love does not leave us as we are. God does not just accept that we have become corrupt. Through the cross, through Christ’s death, the demonstration of God’s love, we are restored to His image and likeness. We who were corrupt are made righteous in Christ. If there was no God, or if we continued in creating an image of God in our likeness, we would remain captive to sin and the foolishness of denying God. But by His grace, we are restored, saved and recreated in His image.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, that You created us in Your image and likeness and that although we turned aside in foolishness, You restored us through the cross and are conforming us to the image and likeness of Jesus. You are God and there is none like You. Amen.