A Current Bible Study:
Psalm 53: "Fools"
Psalm 53: 1- "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good."
     As you believe, or fail to believe, so shall you live, so shall you act. Only fools refuse to accept God's existence. And now David will unmask these fools:
Psalm 53, Verses 2-3- "God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
    We are all the fools whenever we stop trusting the "Father of Lights." David knew it was true of him. Listen to what he had to say to God in Psalm 51: 3-4:
"For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..."
    Let's just pause here for a second. This hurts, doesn't it. Confession is uncomfortable. David is a Bible "Hero," but when he turns away from God he becomes just a fool. You and I could also confess this about our lives. And I wouldn't have to go way back to before I knew salvation in Christ to quote foolishness in my life. I'll tell you, friend, there are many times when I catch myself living today as if there is no God. A day or two will have gone by and I will realize that I haven't really noticed or thought about Him, not even once! How about you, are you ever a fool? Saved or unsaved, beloved, the scriptures are telling us that we all are fools when we don't live by faith. And it WILL show up in our lifestyles and behaviors. But David has more to say, let's get back to our quote from Psalm 51:
"For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."
    David confessed to God because he came to realize that all matters of sin and faith and forgiveness were in the hands of God. That remains in effect for us today. God's standards alone are righteous and we all are fools without Him. Because of our weaknesses we are not to judge others or even our own lives. David is famous for asking God to judge his enemies, but he also trusted the Father to judge him too. We can easily miss this today. It's not just our enemies that need judging, it's our own conduct, too.

Psalm 53, Verse 4- "Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God."
     That worldly attitude, the selfishness that plagues this world and always has. David tells us from whence it comes: people don't pray to God. If we stop speaking to God and stop listening for His voice in our hearts, we go astray. And there's more:

Psalm 53, Verse 5- "There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them."
     When faith and prayer exit a life, they are replaced by fear. Indeed fear is the trademark of doubt. And hope the trademark of faith. A believer fears only God and therefore fears nothing else in the world. A doubter SHOULD fear God (look back at verse 5b), but instead comes to fear other things in life. Some today are so fearful they won't even leave their home. The road of doubt and fear leads to many evils and even suicide. This is where the Devil wants to take us. This is where he can control us with or without our knowledge and use us in his struggle against God. But we don't end here. Psalm 53 closes with words of hope and trust:
Psalm 53, Verse 6- "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."
    And I want to go on now and quote Psalm 54 as a prayer back to our Father. Notice the faith and the hope and the love David has for his God. In verse one he says to God, "judge me." That takes trust. And at the end when speaking of his enemies, he doesn't tell the Lord what to do about them. He doesn't seek his own will, but asks that what God desires will come to pass. Pray this with me now and let's turn ourselves and our friends and our enemies over to God in faith:

Psalm 54
"Save me, O God, by thy name and judge me by thy strength. Hear my prayer, O God: give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul; they have not set God before them. Selah. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies."

    This study may seem inappropriate for this Easter season, but it isn't. I suppose you could say, "What does all this have to do with Jesus?" Well, Jesus actually DID all this believing. He had perfect faith in His Father. He is our example and encouragement. Does faith work? Is it worth it? Jesus knew all these Psalms. He studied them well. He even quoted them from the cross. The last thing He said was "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit."(Psalm 31: 5 and Luke 23: 46) He requested nothing but God's will under circumstances far worse than this world has ever seen or will see again. Unselfishly He did not call out for the condemnation of His enemies. (And I don't mean the Romans or Judas, for I see it was me, as a sinner yet unborn, who was His enemy that day and so were you, beloved.) Does faith work? Is it worth it? You know what happened on the third day. God actually canceled His death. That had never happened to any man, nor has it ever happened since, but if we believe, we will likewise be rewarded! 

May Jesus Christ richly bless you-JKD 3/22/03