Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Salvation from Zion (Psalm 53)

"Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!" (Psalm 53:6a).

Psalm 53 is nearly identical to Psalm 14 in which David describes the corruption of mankind. In both psalms by contemplating God’s salvation he finds consolation amid a wicked generation. David ultimately longs for the promised redemption to shine forth among God’s people. In Psalm 53, he cries out, “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!” He is not questioning from whence that salvation will actually come, but asks, “When will the time come when God will display His salvation and make it fully manifest?” By the word Zion, he testifies that his hope is fixed solely on God, for Zion was the holy place from which God had promised to hear the prayers of His servants, and it was the dwelling place of the ark of the covenant, which was an external pledge of the presence of God. David never doubted the Author of his salvation, but asked, with a sorrowful heart, when that salvation will come forth, which was expected from no other source than God alone.

David reveals his concern not only for himself, but for the entire church. He longs for God to restore the “fortunes of His people” so that Jacob might rejoice and Israel be glad. Calvin comments on the importance of following David’s example by exhibiting concern for the entire community of God: “This is worthy of being the more carefully marked when we consider, that, while our attention is engrossed with our own particular sorrows, we are in danger of almost entirely neglecting the welfare of our brethren. And yet particular afflictions with which God visits each of us are intended to admonish us to direct our attention and care to the whole body of the church, and to think of its necessities, just as we see David here including Israel with himself.”

As we find hope in the salvation given to us by our Lord, let us pray that this blessed hope be extended to God’s people everywhere. The salvation to which David looked forward has been fulfilled in the person and work of Christ our Savior. In Him each of us, individually and collectively, finds strength, perseverance, and hope. Let us rejoice and praise God for the salvation He has brought out of Zion—our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Has God ever brought you through a trial that caused you to consider not only your needs but the needs of all of God’s people? Why is it important when we are faced with difficulties to put our hope in Christ alone? Thank Him today for His salvation and meditate on the hope you have in Him.