Many times we, as Christians, will reflect upon the condition of the world at large. There’s no question that evil and sin marches throughout this world. As soon as we walk out the door of our homes, we see people who have no thought of their condition with God. Salvation has no place in their conversation. Their conduct is governed by the values and laws of society, and by the dictates of their own attitudes.
Most people who live worldly lives are merely indifferent to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. However, there are others whose attitude toward God is much more hostile. They are not simply indifferent; they are in opposition to the very concept of God. We may call such people practicing atheists but David did not “sugar-coat” his words, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile, there is no one who does good.”
For too many today, it is fashionable to not believe in God. After all, “Humanity can and will solve its own problems. Mankind is the master of its own fate!” How untrue that is. What good works have been done that was based upon a rejection of God? Every great charitable or service organization, that is active today, began upon Christian principle of caring for our fellow-man. Verse one is all too true. No true lasting good comes from those that say, “There is no God”.
The irony of the situation is seen in verse 2, “The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” Denying that something or someone exists, does not make it happen. The picture is almost comical. The fool declares that God does not exist and then he merely goes about his business. Yet, the world, the very universe, is filled with the great and infinite presence of God!
As if from a great tower or point of observation, God searches for those that understand their need for Him, and seek him. Notice that God is not looking for the rich, the famous, or the powerful. Instead, He is looking for the men and women that have faith, love, commitment, and who will surrender themselves to God through Jesus Christ.
If a person, who denied God, was left to his or her own devices, that would be one thing; but there are always those who want to find a reason to walk away from their spiritual responsibilities. The evil or worldly nature of humanity is drawn to that belief. Without opposition, it spreads like wild-fire. No, the attitude, “There is no God” cannot simply be ignored with the expectation that the world will flock to Jesus Christ. That is why the mission has been given to all Christians to take the Gospel into the world.
Obviously, people who reject God are often in conflict with the people of God. That conflict can become acute as Christians actively fulfill the commission that Christ gave them. Often, the enemies of God appear to be stronger in terms of worldly power and influence. This should be expected, because they follow the “god of this world”. David saw this happening and described it in verses 4 – 6 of the Psalm. Read those verses. Reflect how they describe the conditions in the world today. The evil do try to “devour” God’s people, and sometimes they are successful. Often, they frustrate the poor who turn to God, “but the Lord is their refuge.”
The wicked may try to wish God out of existence, and they may initially seem to win out over God’s people. But inevitably, the final victory belongs to the Lord, and all who are joined to Him through Jesus Christ will share in that victory.
David saw the world – what it was like, and how it was in opposition to God and His people; but then his thoughts turned to that time that will come for the final victory. With that picture, David also felt a yearning for that day, “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!”
Paul would echo that thought centuries later when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:2, “Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling…” How many Christians have echoed that same thought? Paul also wrote in his letter to the Philippians, “To live is Christ, to die is gain”. At the very end of Revelation, John wrote, “Amen, Come, Lord Jesus.”
God’s people have hope – an anticipation of what they KNOW will happen. But that the fool, who rejects God, has no hope for the future except oblivion. Indeed, all Christians should declare, “Amen! Even so come Lord Jesus!”