Text:            Psalm 53:1-6

By:                UTO, JOEL

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This poetic psalm of praise by David cannot be so well placed or classified into praise songs, thanksgiving songs, prayer and supplication, penitential psalm or sacred history songs. It has overlapping message for us. God is poetically said to be searching to see if any man was fully willing to follow him.

The passage points out the recklessness or folly and evil of denying the existence of God. That attitude leads to evils. The passage further explains God’s view of the human race. Romans 3:10- 23 confirmed this view and Eph 2:1-3 describes the unsaved human beings as following the dictates of the devil, cf Gen 6:5. God certifies the human race to have chosen to ignore him and go their own ways. Those who oppose God will eventually be defeated by God’s holiness. The psalm ends with prayer of David for the salvation and restoration of Israel.

We are going to therefore broadly examine this passage in two perspectives. We also examine this passage verse by verse to understand its message properly.

V.1-3. This passage is similar to Psalm 14. The concern here is that which can be found in the heart of the fool, it says, “There is no God”.  People without regard and the fear of God in their lives, are termed fools. They therefore commit all manners of evils. It shows how bad the human race is, but God be praised that he didn’t leave man in his bad condition. The human race is evaluated here, it says every human being has fallen away and has become corrupt. No one does what is right, yes, this is the cornerstone concept to meet God’s standard. All have sin and fall short of the glory of God Rom 3:23.

Vv 4-6. According to David in expressing his shock about the wicked, says that they are ignorant of the evil they commit by persecuting God’s people (for example, Pharaoh, Paul). They are so blind to their own evil that they do not call on God either in the sense of obeying Him or even acknowledging His existence.

It is true that some sin committed is deliberate while some evils are done out of ignorance of the truth, Luke 23:34, Acts 3:15, 17, 1 Tim 1:13. We need to strip off our ignorance. How?  Let us find time to study the Bible always than most time rely on handed down doctrines to the extent that a new understanding is resisted.

V5. – The destruction of those who do not fear God but experience great terror when God judges them is pictured here – cf Proverb 28:1. This terror might also be aimed at the devil and its agents. They will experience terror when God judges them by raining fire upon them Rev. 20:7-9. In contrast the future of the righteous is bright. 

V6. – Salvation will come to Israel in the form of the Messiah’s Kingdom Matt 1:21.


This Psalm shows how bad we are. God proves it upon us by His own certain knowledge. God speaks terror to persecutors, the worse of sinner. And He speaks encouragement to God’s persecuted people.

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