The readings thus far this week do not paint a very flattering picture of humankind. In this psalm, we read of foolishness, corruption, and evil. The psalmist pictures God searching for someone who is a wise seeker of God, only to be disappointed. “There is no one who does good, no not one.” While it’s tempting to think that the psalmist is just having a bad day and feeling frustrated, there is a nugget of truth in their words. Each of has, at times, been foolish. Each of us has gone astray or made things more difficult for someone.
Can you think of a time when God corrected your foolishness? Did it happen through some sort of enlightenment or did it come through suffering negative consequences? Despite its tone of doom and gloom, I hear two reasons for hope in this psalm. First, God has not abandoned us to our waywardness, but searches us for goodness. Secondly, in the last verse, the psalmist doesn’t say, “If the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,” but instead says, “When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people…” Even when we lose hope for ourselves, God does not. Out of steadfast love and faithfulness, God will continue to work to restore us, as individuals and collectively, to our God-created, best selves.
Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the good that God has inspired and continues to bring out of God’s children.