Psalm 53: Only A Fool Says There Is No God.


Psalms 53 KJV: To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.  (Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures in this study are from the King James Version of the Bible – Public Domain.)
Context: There is no God!
Just like Psalm 14, Psalm 53 is a lament, it uses concepts and vocabulary that is found in wisdom literature. Two distinctions separate the two psalms.
  1. Psalm 53 uses the generic term for God ( ’ĕlōhîm ), instead of ‘Lord’ (Yahweh.
  2. The second difference is found in verse 5.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good [or of instruction.]
14:1. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God. 
The psalm begins with a statement that only a “fool’ would make. Why do I say that? It mirrors the sentiments referenced in Psalms 14. To clarify the meaning of this word let’s look at the Hebrew words used for “fool.”
‘ny’ Hebrew words for fool. In this instance the psalmist is speaking of nābāl (read his story here). Fox describes, ‘a nābāl as a ‘species of fool, base and worthless and an object of scorn. He is never merely stupid, but . . . morally deficient’ (Fox 2000, 627).  As we look at leaders today can you personally identify any that fit this description? How do you deal with them? In the same manner that Abigail dealt with Naba.
The second Hebrew meaning for fool  indicates that the primary characteristic of fools is that they deny God.
  1. Right here, I would like to say that we do not always deny God  just with our mouths.  We do it every day with our actions. 
  2. When our actions depict an attitude that is contrary to the Word and will of God, we are saying that God does not exist. 
  3. When we choose to deny Him we are saying that God does not exist.
  4. When He is not the number 1 priority of our daily existence we are in effect saying that He does not exist. 

Stating that a fool is just an atheist is not the point of this Scripture. Proverbs 1:7 declares, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’  The opposite of this statement would be that the rejection of God leaves the person “knowledgeless” and morally irreprehensible.

There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame because God hath despised them.were…[: Hebrew. They feared a fear]. 
The morally corrupt person lives in fear of fear itself. But God’s people are not fearful. They know that he protects them. Anyone who oppresses God’s people will be “put shame because God hath despised them.”  They will literally be afraid of shadows. They will see conspiracies where no conspiracy exists.  Just remember Saul of the Old Testament. 
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
A time of rejoicing will return to God’s people. They will be prosperous and blessed. We know what happens at the end of the Book of Revelation.
Breathe in deeply and experience the freshness of the Holy Spirit. Know that God values you and has given you His precious presence. You do not have to fear anything or anyone.
Fox, M. V. (2000), Proverbs 1 – 9, ABC (New York: Doubleday).
Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed June 25, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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