Daily Devotion 30th April
Psalm 53 and Luke 24:50-53.
Psalm 53 describes man’s evil, corrupt and foolish nature. This psalm is almost identical to Psalm 14. Both were written by David, probably at different times in his life. The apostle Paul quotes Psalm 53 in Romans 3:10-12. The theme is clearly important and God wants us to pay attention to what he is telling us through these scriptures.
Psalm 53:1-3 tell us about our original sinful nature. David warns us in verse 1 not to disregard God. Without God and left to our own foolish desires and impulses, we are all sinful and corrupt. In verse 2, God watches us closely to see if any of us understands our sinful state without God and if we will seek Him. Unfortunately, in verse 3 He finds that everyone has turned away and become corrupt; no one does good.
Psalm 53:4-5 describe the actions and state of mind of people who disregard God. They destroy and “devour” people carelessly and easily without a thought, “as men eat bread”, as if there is no consequence. They never call on God for guidance. However, their minds are “overwhelmed with dread” when there is no immediate danger, “where there was nothing to dread”. This indicates a mental state of anxiety and paranoia which can sometimes lead to aggression and destructiveness. Charles Spurgeon called this a “causeless panic”. How many of us realise that when we do not follow God’s guidance but instead do what we please, we end up harming ourselves and causing all sorts of hurt and harm to others?
Psalm 53: 5-6 tells us that God scatters the bones of those evil doers who attack us, for God despises them. This indicates that they die in disgrace because they do not have a proper resting place as the Jewish custom required for an honourable burial. This is the fate of people who refuse to turn to God.
Finally, in Psalm 53:6 David prophesies about a Saviour who will bring salvation and restoration for people and with this, restoration to God and a time of rejoicing.
In Luke 24:50-53, we are brought to the point in time after Jesus’s crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. Jesus has appeared in His resurrected body to His disciples and followers. He blesses them and is then taken up into heaven. They worshipped Him continually after that because they realised that He is the Messiah and the Son of God. They finally understood what had happened and they experienced great joy. Jesus is our Saviour who brings salvation and restoration with God! The prophecy in Psalm 53:6 had been fulfilled. When we turn to Jesus and acknowledge that we need Him as our Saviour, we can come to a realisation of our sinful nature. We can choose to turn to him for our salvation and restoration with God. This comes with great joy and peaceful respite from the anxiety and dread we experience when we do not let Him guide our lives.
Can we recall times when we have acted out of our own desires and impulses instead of being guided by God’s wisdom? What were the consequences of our disobedience? Did we cause trouble or hurt to anyone in the process? How can we use these experiences to learn and grow in God?
Almighty God, forgive us for the times we have been foolish and made mistakes. We want to fully repent of our sin. We are sorry for any hurt or harm we have done to others. Help us to seek your guidance continuously in all we say or do. We acknowledge that we need you and that you are our God and Saviour. Thank you that we can experience joy and restoration through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.