Same Song, Different Tune (Psalm 53)

PSALM 53

[Psa 53:1-6 NKJV] 1 To the Chief Musician. Set to “Mahalath.” A Contemplation of David. The fool has said in his heart, “[There is] no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; [There is] none who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are [any] who understand, who seek God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; [There is] none who does good, No, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, And do not call upon God? 5 There they are in great fear [Where] no fear was, For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you; You have put [them] to shame, Because God has despised them. 6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice [and] Israel be glad.

PSALM 53:1-7

SAME SONG, DIFFERENT TUNE

We had a pick your favorite hymn night the other night in church. Folks were glancing through their hymnals to call out songs for us to sing. I had one in mind (Come Thou Fount) and while I glanced through the hymnal I noticed two hymns with the same name; both sets of words started the same but there were some slight differences and one version had a whole extra chorus.

Remember Psalm 14? Most of this Psalm is repeated there. There are a few notable changes. 1. David gives the music director the “tune” to which this song is to be sung. 2. In Psalm 14, the name LORD (all caps, the English way of noting God’s divine personal name) is used, where as in Psalm 53 He is referred to as God (a less personal term). 3. Verse 5 is different.

So what do these changes tell us? It’s quite literally almost the same song, just a different tune. I guess in a very literal way there will be some folks who are fools and deny the existence of God either by their lips of their lives. Some perhaps will deny the personal God of the Bible and others have a beef with the idea of God in general, but they are both fools and they are both missing the richness of understanding the world as a work of it’s personal creator. Its the same song, just a different tune.

One of the biggest things that those who have no regard for even a general sense of God will face is a blinding anxiety. Without hope of God in this world, their actions will be driven by fear rather than faith. Their worldview will tend to peter towards the hopeless rather than the hope offered in a creator and sustainer. They will have no sense of purpose or place and so they will purpose to do things in their own heart that may drive them against the very purpose for which they were created. Similar to that guy we looked at yesterday who used his voice to demean God’s servant rather than reflect God’s glory.

PRAYER

Father, Thank you that you have revealed yourself in your creation, in your word, in Jesus Christ, through your church, and by your Holy Spirit. You are not without witness in my life. I am grateful for the abundance of evidence there is not only for your existence, but for the purpose of life, even my life. I pray that I would have the benefit and grace to point others to you today. I ask that you would open the eyes of the blind who cannot see you and will not see you apart from your sovereign grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Day 77: James (NEW TESTAMENT 90)

Today’s reading comes from James follow the link provided here to read the ESV online.

I am so glad that we are reading though James today. I needed to be reminded of James 1:2-5! We are certainly experiencing trials of various kinds. Virus trials, reaction trials, big trials, small trials, people trials, technology trials, all types of trials… I am grateful that the LORD is in control. I am also glad that we can ask Him for wisdom. We need wisdom especially today as we deal with things we have never dealt with before.

We are also reminded to bridle our tongue (1:26). Opinions abound about how to react to this virus, if the virus is real, how bad the virus is, who is or is not taking the virus seriously, etc. We can and should exercise self control over our speech about others and our fears.  Our discourse should be civil.

I have to admit that James 4:13-15 jumped out today. If ever there were a time when all of our plans have changed it is this one.

Finally, James 5:16-18 remind us to confess our sins and pray. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (5:16).  Let’s pray today against the spread of this virus, against fear, and for our communities.

FATHER, Help us to count it all joy in the midst of these trials. We ask for wisdom and discernment in making day to day choices. I ask that you would guide our steps and direct our path. We confess that we cannot predict the future and make certain our plans. Show us how to love our neighbors in the midst of crisis. We ask for you to spare our communities from the spread of this virus. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.

A Little Extra: Have you ever considered that sometimes what we call wisdom may end up being demonic (3:5)?  Not that I’m saying God is against smarts… Just the opposite, we are to have a renewed mind. But that sometimes the lines we sell ourselves are actually just lies from the pit of Hell. Like when someone says that they’d be happier if they were divorced and were back on the dating scene… not Godly wisdom!!! That’s a lie meant to wreck you.

A little dope won’t make you feel better in the long run. Alcohol doesn’t really numb the emotional pain, sir, your getting drunk maybe what is causing all the pain (for you and for others). And a little slice of chocolate cake for dessert with enough frequency will kill you just as dead as those cigarettes will.

Worldly wisdom, demonic wisdom is persuasive, but it isn’t really wisdom. It’s a lie dressed up as the truth and sold in the package of “looking out for number one,” or “it will make me “feel” better.” Don’t buy it. Get your wisdom from God… Submit to God, Resist the Devil… and He will flee from you.

What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.

Find out about New Testament 90 – Here

new-in-90-sheet