Monday, May 22, 2017

Is Anyone Any Good?

Psalm 14:2-3
The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

David starts by describing the fool who says, "there is no God!"  But, God looks down from heaven to see if there are any who seek him.  This assumes that God is looking down and seeking out humankind. While man may forget about God, God never forgets about us. Sometimes we wish God would leave us alone, but we better be careful what we ask for, as all of human life is held in God's hand. 

But the humbling thing about this psalm is that it not only applies to the atheist who says ther is no God, but as David writes, "All have turned away and become corrupt. There is no one who does good not even one."  Paul uses this phrase in Romans 3 to describe how all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (3:22).  He actually quotes directly from Psalm 14 in verses 9-11, 

What then? Are we any better? Not at all. For we have already made the charge that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin. As it is written:“There is no one righteous, not even one; 11There is no one who understands; no one who seeks God.…

At the end of the psalm, David longs for the salvation of Israel.  In the immediate context this relates to the captivity of the Jewish people.  But in a prophetic sense, it is for all who look for freedom from the captivity of sin. As we will see many times throughout the psalms, they are prophetic in nature and point to the Messiah.  Through David's kingly line would come a Messiah the only Good One, who would die for all of our sins, both Jew and Gentile. 

Today's Psalm is a good reminder that non intrinsically good.  Like all people we had turned away from God.  Though we were made in God's image, we turned to go our own way.  But in the fullness of time, God sent His Son to win us back to him. He sent Jesus to be the good person we could never be.  This was the salvation David longed for and we have now seen. 

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