Perhaps the least believable thing in the Bible is what this Psalm says: there is no one who does good. This runs contrary to all our experience as we live among others whose actions we judge daily as good or bad, right or wrong. Even in moral grey areas, there is still white among the black. Good is mixed in to all people. This is quite true. There is a kind of earthly good, a dim showing of the Divine Light of God’s image that remains in fallen mankind. Yet it would be foolish to see the dimness as the light.
When humans sit in low-lit room with a dim bulb, God does something with their eyes. Their pupils adapt and begin to adjust to what little light there is and take hold of it. That dimness offers far more sight than complete darkness ever could, and that dim light becomes the guide. Yet then the window is opened to allow the sunlight to pour in and envelop the observer. The dim light is no longer perceptible in the brightness of the day, as the Sun outmatches it immeasurably. If someone asked, “Why is the room so bright?” you would not answer, “because of this dim bulb!” It is forgotten in the sun.
The dim light is what we see in ourselves and our neighbours. The sun is Christ. When we see Christ as He is (1 Jn 3:2), the dim light obscured by our human failings will be imperceptible and we will see that the only pure and true Good is God’s. Exposure to God’s Word over time is to have the window to True Light creaked open, to be fully opened at the End.
Those who are in Christ often find themselves in the presence of the Light yet paradoxically still look to the dim bulb for wisdom. God is patient with us, and guides us towards the window by His Spirit in His Word. You are adopted in Christ, be led to the window by Him all your life.
The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.”
They are corrupt; they do vile deeds.
There is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race
to see if there is one who is wise,
one who seeks God.
All have turned away;
all alike have become corrupt.
There is no one who does good,
not even one.
Will evildoers never understand?
They consume my people as they consume bread;
they do not call on the Lord.
Then they will be filled with dread,
for God is with those who are righteous.
You sinners frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
but the Lord is his refuge.
Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come from Zion!psalm xiv (csb)
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.