This is a wisdom psalm that grieves over the pervasiveness of sin and its sad effects. It is repeated with minor changes in Psalm 53. Paul refers to this Davidic psalm to explain how all of humanity is tainted by sin (Romans 3:1–12).
1 A wicked and foolish man truly believes there is no God. They are vile, their sinfulness nauseating to their Creator; their actions are soiled and repulsive; every deed is depraved; not one of them does good.
2 The Eternal leans over from heaven to survey the sons of Adam. No one is missed, and no one can hide. He searches to see who understands true wisdom, who desires to know the True God.
3 They all turn their backs, walking their own roads; they are rancid, leaving a trail of rotten footsteps behind them; not one of them does good, not even one.
4 Do the wicked have no clue about what really matters? They devour my brothers and sisters the way a man eats his dinner. They ignore the Eternal and don’t call on Him, rejecting His reality and truth.
5 They shall secretly tremble behind closed doors, hearts beating hard within their chests, knowing that God always avenges the upright. 6 You laugh at the counsel of the poor, the needy, the troubled who put their trust in God. You try to take away their only hope, but the Eternal is a strong shelter in the heaviest storm. 7 May a new day, a day of deliverance come for Israel, starting with Zion. When the Eternal breaks the chains of His oppressed people, the family of Jacob will rejoice, and Israel will be delighted.
A recurring theme in the psalms is the dwelling place of God and its importance in worship. This Davidic psalm considers the moral qualities of the person who wishes to approach God.
1 Eternal One, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling? Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain?
2 Here is the answer: The one who lives with integrity, does what is right, and speaks honestly with truth from the heart. 3 The one who doesn’t speak evil against others or wrong his neighbor, or slander his friends. 4 The one who loathes the loathsome, honors those who fear the Eternal, And keeps all promises no matter the cost. 5 The one who does not lend money with gain in mind and cannot be bought to harm an innocent name.
If you live this way, you will not be shaken and will live together with the Lord.
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