1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord?
5 There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
6 You would shame the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is his refuge.
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
This psalm will be considered in its entirety because of the great example it gives us in understanding the Scriptures and the New Testaments use of the Old Testament. The opening verses are reflected by Paul in his argument over the sinful nature of Israel (Rom 3:12). Commonly the “all” there is taken to be universal but the psalmist is speaking specifically of the “children of man.” Though this could mean all those born of men, it can also delineate those who refuse to acknowledge God’s covenant and mix themselves with the sinful (Gen 6:1-2).
This is reassured by the reality that these are “evildoers” (v. 4) who are in direct contrast to the “generation of the righteous” (v. 5). Much like the “generations” of Adam and Noah (Gen 5:1; 10:1) these are God’s covenant people. In application to Paul throughout Romans, there are both the Jews who lack faith through their disobedience and Abraham’s offspring who by faith are justified through Christ.
The Lord is the refuge of these (v. 6) who do seek Him. Salvation comes for God’s Israel and the Lord is a rewarded of those who “seek Him” (Heb 11:6). Let us rejoice and be glad