This Psalm is a parallel version of Psalm 14.  There are a few differences, however.  The order of these Psalms in book two of the Psalms reflect David’s life.  This Psalm is based on 1 Samuel 25:

Synopsis:

  • The prophet Samuel had died

  •  David, in his running from Saul, made the acquaintance of some shepherds from a very wealthy man named Nabal (which means “foolish”). 

  • When David was close to this man’s property, he sent some of his men to greet him in his name. 

  • They were to remind Nabal that while his shepherds were around David and his men, they protected them and they had nothing to fear.

  • Additionally, they asked Nabal for any help (presumably food) he could provide.

  • In his ignorance, he refused to help the anointed king of Israel.

  • David’s messengers returned to him with the news.  David ordered his men to put on swords and go into battle against Nabal (after all, the king was God’s representative.  To deny the opportunity to help the anointed king was to deny opportunity to bless one of God’s anointed ones.  It was like refusing to help God—as if He needed any).

  •  A servant, meanwhile, had told Nabal’s wife Abigail about the incident and this wise woman sent out 200 loaves of bread, 2 skins of wine, 5 dressed sheep, 5 bushels of roasted grain, 100 raisin cakes and 200 fig cakes.  After all, this was the king and they were wealthy!

  • When Abigail met David and his army, she threw herself on the ground and begged him, saying “He is just like his name—his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent.”

  • David accepted her gracious offer and gave her a blessing.

  • When she returned home, Nabal was drunk at a party he was throwing.

  • The next day, she told him all the events that had transpired.  He was petrified.  He died 10 days later.


Psalm
53

For
the director of music. According to mahalath.
A maskil of David.

 

1      The
fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;

there is no one who does good.

2     God looks down from heaven

on the sons of men

to see if there are any who understand,

any who seek God.

3     Everyone has turned away,

they have together become corrupt;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.

4     Will the evildoers never learn—

those who devour my people as men eat bread

and who do not call on God?

5     There they were, overwhelmed with dread,

where there was nothing to dread.

God scattered the bones of those who attacked
you;

you put them to shame, for God despised them.

6     Oh, that salvation for Israel would come
out of Zion!

When God restores the fortunes of his people,

let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

 

Verse 1: A Fool’s Heart

  • This is not a comment on someone’s
    intelligence.  This is the willful act of
    ignorance.
  •  No matter what they may see or feel or
    experience, they simply REFUSE to see the reality of God.
  •  The summary on this willful ignorance is that
    they are evil.  How can they do what is
    morally right when they deny the existence of the source of morality?
  •  This is another reason why separating faith in
    God from the public square can be so dangerous. 
    How can we say anything is illegal if we remove the moral codes which
    underpin our society.

 

Verses 2-3: God’s Heart

  • God looks down because He is hoping to see if
    anyone is looking up.  Is anyone seeking
    God with their heart, soul, mind and strength? 
  •  Instead what he finds is the complete lack of
    righteousness in humanity.  We don’t seek
    God in and of ourselves.

 

Verses 4-5: A
Call to a Wise Heart

  • Those who are against God, and therefore His
    people, find themselves in a dangerous position.  They are on the punishing end of God!
  • We, on the other hand, are called not to be
    afraid because there is nothing to fear. 
    It is God who protects us.  It is
    His wings under which we hide.
  • As such, the people of God can rejoice and be
    glad.

·        
Be wise in the Lord.  Don’t live like a functional atheist—denying God
by the way you live.  As a child of God,
know God’s heart.  He is looking for
YOU!  Be wise and seek Him.  Don’t be afraid when you are on God’s
side.  You are safe.  You are protected.  You are redeemed.