Psalm 53

1650 psalter

The Righteous One’s view of earth, and the victory of God’s people

This psalm is virtually a twin to Psalm 14, and Paul uses the both in Romans 3. It shows the degraded and insensible condition of the natural man. He is without understanding, knowledge or goodness, and commits abominable iniquity. The greatest iniquity of course, is to deny the existence of the true God. Even if the mouth does not say it, the heart says, ‘there is no God.’

Such a state provides a ready breeding ground for hatred, and especially against God’s people. Antipathy and rejection towards the truth that there is a living God, will naturally find expression against those who claim to be His followers. Such malice can have menacing and frightful intentions and realisations, as seen in the expression in v. 4, “They eat up my people as they eat bread.” Such vindictiveness naturally inculcates great fear in the breasts of the saints (v.5), but often is an unnecessary fear, for God is able to scatter the enemy. 

Salvation is of the Lord, and comes out of Zion. David looks for the great Deliverer, the Lord Jesus, to come out from thence. But He can also come in deliverances at every exigency in the church’s history. We have great cause to rejoice.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: St Peter, Moravia

St Peter

Psalm 53

¹That there is not a God, the fool
Doth in his heart conclude:
They are corrupt, their works are vile,
Not one of them doth good.

²The Lord upon the sons of men
From heav’n did cast his eyes,
To see if any one there was
That sought God, and was wise.

³They altogether filthy are,
They all are backward gone;
And there is none that doeth good,
No, not so much as one.

⁴These workers of iniquity,
Do they not know at all,
That they my people eat as bread,
And on God do not call?

⁵Ev’n there they were afraid, and stood
With trembling, all dismay’d,
Whereas there was no cause at all
Why they should be afraid:

For God his bones that thee besieg’d
Hath scatter’d all abroad;
Thou hast confounded them, for they
Despised are of God.

⁶Let Isr’el’s help from Zion come:
When back the Lord shall bring
His captives, Jacob shall rejoice,
And Israel shall sing.