Key Verse: “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” (v.6)
Key Theme: The consequences of living like there is no God.
Key Descriptives of God: God who looks and sees; God of Salvation
Today, we have a very short chapter and essentially a repeat chapter, as it is almost an exact replica of Psalm 14. Any time there is a repeat passage in the Bible, rather than a “yeah, I already heard that” from us, I believe it is telling us to give special attention to the message.
FOOLS SAY THERE IS NO GOD
“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God, they are corrupt and have done abominable iniquity” (v.1). One can quickly see the progression. Say there is NO GOD. They are CORRUPT. Have done ABOMINABLE INIQUITY. This looks like the sequence of realities if you embrace being an atheist. Your moral rails fall apart and you pursue the core satanist ideal of “do as thou wilt”. If there is no God there is no point serving anyone else other than your self— and that is never going to end right.
However, as true as this might be this scripture was not put in the Bible just for us to be able to finger-point at atheists as “fools”. There is a wider brush being painted with that allows us all some introspection to ensure WE are not being “fools”. See, the scripture points out that a fool says there is no God— IN HIS HEART. This is quite different than saying it with your mouth which is what an “official” atheist would do. The Hebrew word for “fool” is NABAL and also means “wicked, stupid, foolish, ABANDONED”. It is, of course, ultimate stupidity to say “there is no God” because to believe that everything on earth happened from randomness is not just another perspective but rather the epitome of a shipwrecked IQ.
But let’s look at the word ABANDONED which is one of the definitions of NABAL. Then let’s say this verse in another way. “Those who feel abandoned will act and live like there is no God.” This leads to a much wider swathe of individuals and can explain some of our own strayings from time to time. In the world today it seems that almost everyone is falling under some kind of definition of a narcissistic disorder or syndrome. I don’t know if we have counseled any marriage situation that I didn’t hear about the offending party being “a narcissist”. And this among believers who don’t say with their mouth “there is no God” but perhaps do so with their hearts. Narcissism more than being about pride is about being on your own throne and everyone else being a lesser-than, beginning with those closest to you. It is when “caring about you” has ingested way too many steroids and gone terribly wrong. Some form of deficient behavior will always result from that and then progressively go to a worse place, eventually crossing the line of CORRUPT and then ABOMINABLE. It is the opposite of the Christ-like, “greater love has no man than to lay down his life for another.” No time to do the deep dive here, but let’s make sure we are not the “fools” of this chapter in any kind of applicable way. If we discover that our heart does echo with “there is no God”, let’s go back and find out what traumatic event disappeared Him from our heart and get some healing there. (SOZO’S?)
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD?
Twice in this chapter, we will see the line, “There is none who does good”, once it will be followed up with “No, not one” (v.2). This, at first glance, would seem to be a harsh statement throwing us all “under the bus” and making us all the “fools”. Though not properly expounded on by David, we do have the apostle Paul refer to this whole passage in Romans 3:9-12, as he discusses sin in a very nuanced manner. His application for us is that “none is good” in the sense of “all are under the power of sin”. In other words, you will never be good enough to earn the privilege of eternity in heaven. Beyond that anyone truly self-honest is aware that our natural proclivity is not to be “good”— despite assertions to the contrary. No one has to teach a baby to “want what it wants when it wants it”— they innately go there. Saying MINE does not have to be taught but is the un-good instinct in toddlers. Sharing is not instinctive. Being considerate is not either. Pooping and peeing when and where you want to is what comes “naturally”. A child who has not been parented does not just turn out good because they are good from the inside. A child left to its own instincts would turn into the gnarliest human being imaginable and likely quickly become a denizen of prison for the advanced progression of what is un-good. Narcissism is our norm— when no God is considered. So “none does good”, but there is hope.
SALVATION OUT OF ZION
“Oh, that the salvation of Israel, would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad” (v.6). This is essentially the one hopeful and hope-filled verse of Psalm 53. Verse 5, had a hint of good news telling us God will “scatter the bones of him who encamps against you” but that is not an easy application for us (though we know that in New Testament reality “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” and so we must apply it to demonic constructs). However, from what I understand of the Hebrew language (definitely not an expert) the tense of this verse could also have been translated as the prophetic statement that it is, “Oh, the salvation of Israel is going to come out of Zion!” Again we have the amazing word “salvation”, YESHUA in Hebrew, that again tells us that Jesus the Savior will come out of Israel. We all have gone in and out of some level of being “fools”. None of us is really core-good. But God has made provision for all that and provided Himself as the source of every kind of GOOD including eternal salvation. The more He takes up residence in us the more we become core-good. That hard to understand “brings back the captivity of His people” line, in Hebrew, literally means “turns with a turning”. It is applicable for each one of us in our personal “turning” to Jesus and it is very applicable to the nation of Israel and the “turning” to their Messiah that they will do. Through the Holy Spirit He “turns us with a turning”. He doesn’t just put out the demand for a “turning” but He provides the “turning” for us to “turn”. As it says in Phil. 2:13, “GOD WHO WORKS in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure.” This makes it double-grace. Let us bask in the grace of His salvation today as there is a new joy in it.
Written by: Johnny Enlow
Featured Image by chris ganser on Unsplash
67 DAY COUNTDOWN SERIES
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The 67 Day Countdown Series is brought to you by Johnny and Elizabeth Enlow, founders of Restore7 ministry, as well as international speakers and best-selling authors. Among Johnny’s books are The Seven Mountain Prophecy, The Seven Mountain Mantle, Rainbow God, The Seven Mountain Renaissance, Becoming A Superhero, and RISE. Elizabeth serves as CEO and penned Rainbow God: The Seven Colors of Love and God in Every Season.