WHERE IS THE HOPE?
Holy Father, open my mind to think magnificently about you. I am awed by your great majesty.
Read Psalm 14
For the director of music. Of David.
1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have 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 the Lord.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
- Psalm 14:1 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Lord, may the eyes of my heart be opened as I seek your truth today.
In words reminiscent of the flood story, God looks down upon mankind in seeming despair. In this description of the depravity of mankind there seems little hope. Understandably, we may use this psalm to assess the folly of atheism, but there is also a need for introspection. In his letter to the Romans, Paul quotes from this psalm, just before declaring that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’.1 Just as the archer’s arrow may repetitively ‘fall short’ of the target, so our efforts to achieve God’s requirements will always fail. Such an examination of our depravity led Charles Spurgeon to liken humanity to ‘a desert without an oasis, a night without a star, a dunghill without a jewel, a hell without a bottom’.2
When God looks upon humankind, we are faced with the startling declaration that there is ‘no one who does good, not even one’ (v 3). Where is the hope? Later in his letter to the Romans, Paul, having acknowledged his own wretchedness, asks, ‘Who will rescue me …?’3 He doesn’t seek an action to bring consolation but rather a person, whom he goes on to identify as Jesus. Thankfully for each of us, Paul declares that we are justified freely by grace.4 Because of Christ, a jewel begins to glisten amongst the dung.
The fulfillment of David’s plea in verse 7 has been subject to much speculation. May we be able to perceive it through a lens that illuminates the salvation offered by the death and resurrection of the only one who always did good. Take a moment to pause and thank God for the rescue that has been offered to you and to all those whom God seeks, made possible by the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.
‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound / that saved a wretch like me. / I once was lost, but now am found, / was blind, but now I see.’5
As I read your Word, and release the Holy Spirit in my life, please Lord increase my faith and trust in you.
1 Rom 3:12,23 2 CH Spurgeon, https://archive.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps014.php, accessed 11.5.20 3 Rom 7:24 4 Rom 3:24 5 John Newton, 1725–1807
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