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Life built on the assumption that God does not exist is a disaster. It produces nothing but destruction and terror. God saves his people out of this chaos and terror turns to joy.

Hi everyone And welcome to trainingforliferedeemed. I’m Dan. I’m here with my father, David Jackson. We are diving into the book of Psalms or book two of Psalms. We have been working our way through book two quite steadily. We are today looking at Psalm 53.

1.03 David

Psalm 53

0 For the director. According to Makhalath.

A maskil belonging to David.

The Atheist

1 A fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

An evil one – they ruin and commit abominable crimes.

There is no one doing good.

2 God looks down from the heavens on the descendants of man,

to see whether there is a sensible person who seeks God.

3 Each one turns back.

Together they are corrupted.

There is no one who does good,

not even one.

God Speaks

4 Don’t the workers of wickedness know,

Who eat my people, as they eat bread?

They don’t call on God.

5 There they are terrified by terror

Where there is no terror,

Because God scatters the bones of the one who camps against you.

You shame him, because God rejects them.

6 Who, from Zion, will grant Israel salvation?

When God restores the welfare of his people,

Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be happy.

2.00 Dan

Dad, Psalm 53. Says that it belongs to David. It’s a maskil.

I don’t know who this, you know for the director according to Makhalath

Nobody knows. My Hebrew is fantastic…

so we don’t know who that is but we understand that generally belongs to David…

You then starts off. The actual singing bits, talking about fools and them not following gods And they think there is no God this is, yeah This little section the three verses verse three is the one that’s quoted in the New Testament about there being no one who follows God not even one no one who does good you know. I don’t know maybe it’s not the big quote but it’s that’s part of. Part of what’s there…

What’s happening? Why we’re starting off with the atheist? I mean, I know this is going to fit in with what we’ve been discussing throughout…

Where we’ve got the call to God’s people with a call a general people And now this is kind of like see it’s like they’re atheists who don’t believe in God and they don’t follow God No one does.

3.09 David

So he’s, he’s actually whoever’s edited the book of Psalms together in book two has decided to copy Psalm… an earlier psalm and stick it in here as an introduction to the next set. So we’re going to have a set of Psalms 54 to 60. and 54 to 60 is all about that period between when David, after he killed Goliath, through to when he finally gets to be king.

So most of it 54 through to about 50, what are we up to,  58, 59 is going to be about the period between when he’s running around in the bush running away from Saul. 3.53 Dan

Okay So Psalm 53’s part of that…

3.55 David

Psalm 52 is like the hinge where you go from where we’ve been talking about repentance or not repentance. Now we’re going to talk about the battle between the two Kings. So you’ve got this model that goes all the way back to the garden of Eden where God creates all this wonderful stuff and he set he sets you up. He is ruling. You, Adam ,you have dominion. You rule over his world under him and there’s the kingdom of God And it’s lovely. And then, he believes a lie, tells God to go jump in a lake, and now you have two kingdoms at war. And Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden They’re in exile and the war is fully on.

And then you just watch everything fall apart into this raging war. So on the one hand there’s the world falling apart because they told God to go jump. And then on the other hand God’s got this subversive plan of salvation where his kingdom is going to operate whether you like it or not.

And ultimately he’s going to bring in Jesus as the rightful king. And the usurper king and he are going to battle it out. And so there’s this period; it’s an in between period where you’re in the bush being a subversive right king, the kingdom of God. But the dominant power is the usurper. And the usurper is all the kings of this world.

And so we use. This is set up so that Saul versus David is the model of that in between period. And to get us started on that we’re going to go all the way back to the thing starts the process which is when you say no to God. And if you say no to God, then you’re operating without God as if there is no God. And hence he sticks Psalm 53 in there just to introduce you to what’s going to happen.

6.00 Dan

Okay. So, does that kind of mean. Yeah. The atheist is not Saul. That’s all here It’s just that this is the hinge. As we’re about to then start to talk about David and Saul.

6.12 David

Yeah. I mean, when you say there is no God, you can’t live with the concept, there is no God. Hmm. And so. I mean. We’re school teachers, we’ve, we’ve wrestled with teenagers and kids for a long time. One of the things that profoundly impacts us in this generation is that we’ve got a generation that says there is no God. And as they say that, One of,… you then say well, how’s that working out? And this psalm will describe how that’s working out. And you you look at the anxiety and the depression. You know suicide rates through the roof. All of that. It’s just unliveable. To be in, in a world like this. Where there is no god. So,

Previous generations have substituted something for God. Hmm. But the overall effect is there’s no real God. There’s just my fantasy gods. And that’s where Saul is. So Saul has redefined God. To be somebody who’s got in his pocket when he needs him…

7.26 Dan

Okay. Yeah. So then continuing through this psalm we’re going to have God start to speak to David saying what God’s got to speak. Yeah. Something like that, but God’s going to basically talk about how, yeah,. the life of an atheist ends in terror and fear. And how they’ve…basically how God comes in to protect his people from them and destroys them essentially.

7.52 David

If if there is no God, there is no point There’s no meaning. If there’s no God,  when I die I cease to exist. Life is pointless. So it’s all about me now. It’s not about you There’s no point me doing anything for you. You’re going to die. I’m going to die.

It’s me and my moment. And if you listen to. our culture, it is screaming out that you are the most important person in the world. You’re worth it. You deserve it. You should go out and grab it. And all of these things are happening. And the end result is that you end up smashing everything. You become destructive. So the psalm opens with them, an evil one, which is a destructive one. They ruin and commit abominable crimes.

They do no good thing. So when God created Paradise, that is the truth and knowledge of good and evil. And God says everything was good Everything was good Everything was good. And Adam chooses evil, rottenness. So now,. we’re dying. Everything’s falling apart because we said no to God. And we believed a lie. And the big lie is there’s No God. God’s, God’s lying to us. We’ll reinvent him.

So this just becomes a cycle of destruction. I was listening to somebody the other day and they were saying, you know how the human race is the most destructive species on the planet. Hmm. We were set up to be the guardians and the custodians of the world, to glorify God and continue here The beautiful things that he’s done. Instead of that we’re just going around and smash the thing.

He blesses us with children. I was talking to somebody at church the other day. And they’ve got a bit of a problem. It was a guy in my Bible study group. And they’ve been married three years. His wife’s pregnant and his mother-in-law’s response to her daughter conceiving a child was that that “your life is now ruined.”

And you go, how on God’s earth do you get from the blessing of children to seeing children as ruining your life? And the answer is, there is no God. The only reason I exist is for me.

10.27 Dan

yeah when you’re worshiping yourself That makes sense to sacrifice a lot of things, so that you could be comfortable and happy. yeah the Bible is very clear about us and our maturity is more about becoming more more like Christ in which case children are a massive blessing because they definitely help you become a lot more like Christ.

1043 David

All the beautiful. the beautiful things that God created to give us. To be a blessing to us. And we have got to the point. Where we just want to smash all that. And you can see it in Genesis three. When they choose evil. but he’s saying at the root of that destructive culture, is this idea there’s nobody out there higher than me. I’m going to cease to exist. So let’s. Do whatever we like in the meantime, and we are. So he describes all this corruption and destruction. And he’s posing the question in this song. Is that. Did you think this through? Seriously, if there is no God. now when you come to the New Testament, Even Psalm 19. when you flip over to Romans one. We’re lying to ourselves We know he’s there. We know he’s there. We know he’s angry with us. You don’t. We know he’s all powerful, but we don’t know how to get out of trouble. Hmm. So we suppress that knowledge. And we just go and smash everything…

Well, That’s not a good place to be.

12.02 Dan

No, no This, so I’m going to talk about God, scattering their bones or breaking their bones or something like that. Beautiful. And then. And then it goes onto the rejoicing of Zion because they’re his people Yeah. And so he’s looking after them God restores them and their welfare and that kind of stuff.

It’s a kind of a nice way to end the psalm. I find a lot of psalms tend to end happy. You know like stories you know, we start off Oh here’s the problem We find a solution and praise God. Yeah.

1231 David

You look at this you say God is going to bring judgment, just judgment. For people who’ve totally destroyed the beautiful thing that he’s made.

And that beautiful thing includes them. So you go from being this person who was created, for immortality to be the image of God and the glory of God. to display his wisdom his skill his beauty, all that stuff. And what are we left with? Dry bones on a battlefield. As we’ve slaughtered each other. So this is

When he talks about you know God scatters the bones of the one who camps against him, he’s talking about a military camp. That’s you know, if they’ve set themselves up for battle. And at the end of the battle, God is still here, and they’re just dry bones on a battlefield. Why would you set up the camp to go into battle with that as your outcome? You know. What idiot decides to go to war? It’s just crazy. So, in the process God shames him. There’s shame in what you’ve done in telling him. Making this claim There is no God…

But meanwhile God is going to save his people. and that’s a huge act of grace and mercy to people who were camped against him. And here we are.

14.00 Dan

Well Dad that’s the end of this psalm. If you enjoy the psalm you can grab the study notes for this psalm and you can head over to

Slash that C 108 Is this episode 109. Nine 109 for this episode. If you haven’t subscribed to this. The subscribe button make sure you come back and join us again next week when we continue to work through the book of Psalms.