God Looks From Heaven to See Who Is Faithful to Him – Psalm 53:2-3
God has looked down from Heaven upon the sons of mankind
to see if there is anyone who understands,
[to see] 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.
Understanding Psalm 53
Psalm 53 is an instructive psalm by King David. The very first verse of Psalm 53 says that only a fool would say there is no God: “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.” Interestingly, this verse has two different yet equally important interpretations of the “fool” in the original Hebrew manuscripts.
The first interpretation states that a fool denies the existence of God. The second interpretation, equally as foolish, says that (only) a fool says no to the Lord. In other words, the one who rejects God’s will and seeks only after his own is a fool.
How heartbreaking that in this psalm the Lord looks down upon His created people from Heaven, all those He loves, in search of someone – anyone – who seeks Him and found not one: “Everyone of them [had] turned aside; together [becoming] corrupt … there is no one who does good, not even one.” Ouch!
While Holy Scripture teaches that every person is born with original sin and thus cannot be made right with the Lord by his own merit; by grace we are made right. But we have our part to play. We are exhorted to be obedient to His Word. By the aid of His grace, we are to follow His Commands and precepts; to turn from our sinful ways and become “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48). In so doing, our Lord will lead a soul all the way to holiness and sainthood.
No person who sincerely loves the Lord should want to sit back and say, “Well I’m a sinner, but Christ died for me so I don’t have to do anything else.” Not only is this contrary to what Jesus did and taught, it is also bad theology; contrary to the Word of God, the Church, the lives and teachings of our earliest Christian ancestors, saints, theologians and doctors of the Church. It also contrary to logic and Truth.
This side of Heaven we Christians have much work to do. Just look around and you will see this to be true. While it may be hard work to amend our ways, break old habits and turn from the ways of the world, it is harder work against God. In light of this, we should waste not time in striving to do all that He has asked. Not only because of the divine blessings and peace it brings to our lives when we do so, but because God has instructed it. And out of love for Him, we should honor His every command.
God has called us to emulate His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Not only is this an exhortation but it is non-negotiable for a Christian who is truly following Him. Setting aside the consequences of disobedience for a moment, although these consequences should be taken very seriously, Christian’s should want to do all that God asks because of who He is and what He has done for us. The beautiful thing about ‘picking up our crosses and following Him’ is that contrary to the path of sin which always leads to slavery and death, the path to Calvary leads to freedom — blessing, anointing, answered prayer and supernatural transformation. In other words, obeying Christ is for our benefit. The crosses we bear always lead to resurrection!
As you prayerfully mediate on this psalm today, think about the loving Lord looking down from Heaven in search of those willing to do all He has asked; those willing to pick up their crosses regardless of cost to carry out His will. Who will He find shouting from their hearts, “Lord, send me! At any cost, I will do whatever You ask!” Will He find you?
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? 17 So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 Indeed someone may say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. 19 You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. 20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.”
24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Lord God, as You look down on mankind today we reach up to the Heavens praising and worshipping You. We desire above all to do Your Holy will; to be Your hands and feet here below. Sometimes we do not know exactly what we should do, so we pray today for discernment and wisdom.
Please help us to hear the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit which leads us along the righteous path of obedience. As we open our heart in search of a deeper and more Holy purpose, we pray for the strength and courage to immediately do as You command and the grace to carry out Your every desire. Today we zealously proclaim, “Send us, Lord, send us! We are willing and, with You, we are able!” It is in Your good and Holy Name we pray, amen.