Psalms: Making the Connections

Apr 03, 2022 | Dr. Gary Hylander

Psalm 53: Does God Believe In Atheists?

Psalms 53:1-6

Take time to compare Psalms 14 and 53. At first glance, they appear identical, don’t they? Upon closer inspection, subtle differences become visible. Both
psalms begin with this statement: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Elohim). In Psalm 14, the covenantal name for our sovereign ruler,
LORD (Yahweh) is used four times, while in Psalm 53, the name God (Elohim) is used throughout, never introducing the word LORD (Yahweh). Why is this?

As O. Palmer Robertson wisely notes in his outstanding book The Flow Of The Psalms, Book One of the Psalms is designed primarily for God’s covenantal
people, who are being confronted by those opposed to God. Book Two is developed for communicating with non-Israelite people. So, in this second collection of Davidic psalms, we find the psalmist addressing his worldwide audience, Jew and Gentile alike. In today’s study, we find the psalmist confronting this world’s atheists head-on, using language that draws everyone’s attention to the fact that God is sovereign over all of humankind.

As We Consider God’s Relationship To This World, Note...

• The Conditions That God Observes. (1-3)

• The Scattering That God Produces. (4-5)

• The Longing That God Fulfills. (6)

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