THE ENEMY WITHIN
Lord, today I rejoice and am glad because Christ has scattered every enemy for me (Col. 2:13–15)!
Read Psalm 53
For the director of music. According to mahalath.[b] A maskil[c] of David.
1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on God.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
you put them to shame, for God despised them.
6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
a Psalm 53:1 In Hebrew texts 53:1-6 is numbered 53:2-7.
b Psalm 53:1 Title: Probably a musical term
c Psalm 53:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHave you followed your heart or followed Christ?
Atheism is nothing new (1). There may be many reasons why people might choose to ignore or deny the existence of God. The psalmist puts it down to inner corruption. It is because humans are rotten inside that we deny God or hide from him, just as Adam and Eve did.
Just when we are thinking “at least I am not like that!” verse 3 hits us between the eyes. Whoever God turns his eye upon, at any time in history and anywhere in the world, this is what he sees: all have turned away. We are all rotten within. It is a sobering truth.
With enemies breathing threats without and a God who sees the rottenness within, God’s people might understandably be “overwhelmed with dread” (5). At this darkest point, the psalmist lights the spark of hope: why be overwhelmed with dread when God is far bigger than we imagine and far better than we deserve? We can share the psalmist’s confidence in God’s mercy. He “scatters” the enemy without and the enemy within because he is good. It is never “if” God restores his people, but always “when” (6).
Have you admitted your sinfulness to the Holy God? We serve a merciful God. Confess before him and receive his full and complete forgiveness.
Merciful Father, we have followed the devices and desires of our own hearts… and there is nothing good in us. O Lord, have mercy!