The Bible teaches that every person who ever lived and who ever will live, with the exception of Jesus Christ, is a sinner. No baby is born totally innocent and no saint can achieve complete perfection. Psalm 53 is one of many texts clearly showing that we’re all sinners.
But there are two kinds of sinners, unsaved and saved, and Psalm 53 begins with a picture of the foolish person who does not believe in the existence of God.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good (Psalm 53:1, ESV).
Unless the Holy Spirit regenerates our hearts, we are all lost sinners, following our sinful natural desires.
God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one (verses 2 & 3, ESV).
Verse four more clearly delineates the divide between those who do evil and those God calls his own people:
Have those who work evil no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon God?
In many places of the world today, workers of evil devour God’s people as quickly and commonly as they eat bread. But those who do not call upon God have no knowledge.
They may appear to be in control now, but they face fear and destruction.
There they are, in great terror,
where there is no terror!
For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
you put them to shame, for God has rejected them (5, ESV).
Such persecutors will succumb to anxiety and imagine terror where none exists. God will not allow them to triumph forever. Those who surround his people now will be definitively destroyed, because God has rejected them.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad (6, ESV).
David longed for the day of redemption, when the promised Redeemer would come. Just as Old Testament believers anticipated the Messiah’s birth, we long for Christ’s return. Let all God’s people rejoice and be glad in that great news!