We are continuing our series of reflections on the Psalms. Each day we will upload a new reflection to the website. We hope and pray that you will find them helpful and that they bring hope during this season. Click on these buttons to read the text of the psalm or listen to a recording of it. You can also listen to the reflection using the audio player below.
The words of this psalm are almost verbatim with Psalm 14. When God speaks we ought to listen. If He speaks about the same thing a second time then it must be something really important for us to hear. What is He saying to mankind during this crisis we are living through? What is He saying to you?
Verse 1: There are two groups of fools:
those that make us laugh
those that are stupid.
This psalm is about the second group. “Thinks”, in Hebrew is “says in his “heart”. The Jews believed that you thought with your heart. But you also feel in your heart. It makes you do things good or bad. The psalm is written to convince us of our sin “there is no one who does good (in the eyes of the Lord) not even one” – see Romans 3:23. Why are men so bad and lies and corruption so rife from David’s time right up to the present? Because men have no fear of God. Their bad practises flow from their bad principles. Even today with the COVID pandemic, I read that the benefit system had been defrauded of £1.5bn because of false claims from crooks who realise that the authorities are under great pressure, and do not have the usual time to fully investigate everything before paying out.
Verses 4-5: When will those who ridicule and persecute God’s people, ever learn that they will suffer the consequences of ignoring God. Verse 5 refers to the Assyrians who were winning a war against the Israelites (2 Kings 19) and went to sleep one night unafraid of anything. In the morning, when they awoke, 185,000 of them were dead! The king and those remaining left and never returned.
There many people today with great wealth, political or military power who ‘lord’ it over others and think that they control their world and certainly don’t think they have any need for God. But God says that they will be put to shame and know who is really in control. No one knows what will happen tomorrow as the world has seen recently, so we should trust God and not forget to put Him at the centre of our lives. Even for Christians it is easy in the business of life to do things based on our own knowledge and experience and forget to include God in the decisions that we make.
Verse 6: The psalmist longs for Israel’s complete deliverance from her enemies which will come when God deals with the wicked. Could this verse be one of the prophetic visions for the coming of Jesus?
Lord, thank you that you walk beside us every day. Please remind us constantly lest we forget you in the business of life. When life is difficult and hard remind us of Jesus’ words, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”