The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
This is a depressing Psalm in some ways, but full of hope in another. The phrase, “there is no-one who does good” appears in two places, in verses 1 and 3. And that’s the depressing bit, because David, the Psalmist, was perhaps meditating on what it must have been like to be God and, from his own experience of society, came to the conclusion that goodness was a quality severely lacking in the human race. Worse, he sees his fellow men as being “fools” because they deny that God exists and instead are riddled with corruption and do things he calls “vile”. Some of their nasty behaviour is listed further down in the Psalm.
The hopeful part of this Psalm appears in verses 5 and 7. In verse 5 David is comforted by the thought that one day, the evildoers will be terrified when they find out that, actually, there is a God, and He will be found in the presence of those who are righteous. But David’s cry in verse 7 was a prophetic glimpse, through the murk and mists of time, that there needs to be a Rescuer, from God’s mountain, who will restore His people. He was looking forward in time through a prophetic looking glass, yearning for the day when God’s plan of salvation would be enacted. We have the privilege of being able to look back in time to see that God sent His son, Jesus, who restored all those who put their faith in Him. The Apostle John wrote down the words of Jesus in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” This was the fulfilment of the plan in God’s heart, that David only had a glimpse of all those years before.
Verse 7 refers to Jacob and Israel rejoicing when salvation occurs. Perhaps there is a second part to David’s prophetic glimpse, and it is still to take place. That is the salvation of the nation Israel. But whatever our thoughts, we are truly a privileged people, living in an age of God’s favour. Let’s embrace it while we can.