Daily Bible Reading Reflections

As God Looks Down From Heaven…

Psalm 53:2 gives us something to think about throughout the day:

God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.

It’s been 3,000 years since David wrote those words, but how little has changed! As our Creator “looks down from heaven,” what does he see at the close of 2023?

He sees the fool who says in his heart, “There is no God” (53:1).

He sees the corrupt, doing “abominable iniquity” (53:1).

He sees those who “work evil” (53:4).

He sees those who “encamp against” (53:5) and “devour” their fellow image-bearers like bread (53:4).

He sees those who “do not call upon God” (53:4).

He sees those who will ultimately be “put to shame” (53:5).

That’s an ugly list. You don’t have to reflect on it for very long before you feel what David felt as he lamented in Psalm 53:3:

They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

But before you walk away from Psalm 53 deflated and depressed, don’t miss the last verse.

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.

While so many are choosing to callously ignore and blatantly dishonor their Creator, some can still be described as “God’s people.” In the midst of a crooked, darkened, perverse world, God’s men and women still have reason to rejoice and be glad. How? Why? They know who and whose they are. “God’s people.” Indeed, salvation has come out of Zion in the form of David’s royal heir. And now? Disciples of Jesus…

…are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Pet 2:9-10)

Psalm 53 poses a simple question for the day. As God looks down from heaven on the children of man, what does he see? Could I encourage you to make the question even more specific and personal? As God looks down on me today, what does he see? After all, I can’t stop the fool from saying, “There is no God.” I can’t keep the corrupt from abominable iniquity. I can’t force the evil to call upon their Creator. Psalm 53 reminds me to trust today. God sees. God knows. But it also prompts the question. As he looks down from heaven, what does my Creator see in me? Does he see someone who “understands,” and is living like it? Someone who recognizes their need, diligently “seeking after” him? And might he provide me opportunity today to help someone else look up toward him–the One who is able, ready, and willing to save?

As God looks down from heaven…

That’s a phrase worth carrying in the back of your mind today.