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!
Today’s passage brought to mind a question: What’s the difference between an atheist and a person who claims to be a Christian yet lives like an atheist? Not much, right?
It’s clear that not all people are atheists, but our natural inclination is to live as atheists. Actually “atheist” may not be the right word. Our natural inclination is not to live in service of the true God. Rather we pursue false gods, the most prominent being our own selves.
David’s point is that all people turn away from God. All people turn away from good. If they are not all overt atheists, they certainly live like it. Does David count himself among these evildoers? Not in so many words in this Psalm. But if we glance back to Psalm 51, we see very clearly that David did count himself among those with a sin problem that goes back to the womb.
The good news is that salvation for Israel has come out of Zion. God has provided salvation not just for Israel, but for all of humanity, atheists and evildoers included.
So this Psalm led me to a contemplation of my own actions and attitudes. I pray that this day God’s Spirit would lead me so that my living flows from my believing, and not from our self-centered sin. I pray that I may honor God by living as a true theist, who honors Him as God alone.
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