Posted: January 14, 2010
Let us begin this week to study Psalm 53:1-3. The Bible title is 'To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David'. The phrase 'To the chief Musician' tells us it was to be sung publicly. The word 'Mahalath' is the word for a choir. This tells us that it was to be sung publicly by the Temple choir. The word 'Maschil' is the word instruction. So much of our music toady has little doctrine and no instruction. This is the only Psalm that is an exact repeat of Psalm 14. The theme of this Psalm is 'The Depravity Of Mankind'. Psalm 14 was written in David's youth and now in his adult life he writes the words again with some small additions. The additions clearly tell us that man's depravity has only become worst with time.
In verse 1 let us see 'The Pronouncement About God From The Depraved', "The fool hath said in his heart," He first thinks this and now his heart begins to erupt out of his mouth. In the phrase, "There is no God" the words 'there is' is in italics in our English version, which tells us it was added to help the reading. The depraved has said in his heart, 'No God'. The phrase has several ideas contained in them. One is the belief in practical Atheism. Another idea is an attitude of obstinate rebellion in saying to all of God's commands, 'No God'. This phrase also contains the idea of providence or one who controls all things. The word 'no' gives the idea of no belief in one who controls all things but all happens by chance. The removal of God from our thoughts leads to the 'Practice Of Abominable Iniquities'. I think of the 50 years now that God has been removed from our public school system. I wonder if we are now dealing with a generation who were told for 12 to 16 years that there is no God and now they are acting it out.
In verse 2 I see 'The Perception Of God About The Depraved'. Down through the ages of time and up to the present time God has searched mankind. God looks for a person who of his own volition understands. He looks to see if any man left to himself seeks after God. After looking at every person of every nation that has ever lived He has never seen a clear head or a clean hand among people born of a woman.
In verse 3 I find 'The Pronouncement By God On The Depraved'. In Psalm 14:3 David said they turned aside but now they are seen running in a diametrically opposite direction. They have become 'filthy'. The word filthy is a metaphor of milk that has fermented, soured, and become rancid and worthless. This is quite a pronouncement by God on the depraved. God says, "…there is none that doeth good, no not one." Can we imagine all the depraved down through the ages who have done good without Christ in their heart only to find their good as filthy rags in His sight.
"The fallen race of man, left to its own energy, has not produced a single lover of God or doers of holiness, nor will it ever do so. Grace must interpose or not one specimen of humanity will be found to follow after the good or true. This is God's verdict after looking down upon the human race." (Spurgeon)