The Message

Psalm 53

A David Psalm

11-2 Bilious and bloated, they gas,
    “God is gone.”
It’s poison gas—
    they foul themselves, they poison
Rivers and skies;
    thistles are their cash crop.
God sticks his head out of heaven.
    He looks around.
He’s looking for someone not stupid—
    one man, even, God-expectant,
    just one God-ready woman.

He comes up empty. A string
    of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
Sheep, taking turns pretending
    to be Shepherd.
The ninety and nine
    follow the one.

Don’t they know anything,
    all these impostors?
Don’t they know
    they can’t get away with this,
Treating people like a fast-food meal
    over which they’re too busy to pray?

Night is coming for them, and nightmare—
    a nightmare they’ll never wake up from.
God will make hash of these squatters,
    send them packing for good.

Is there anyone around to save Israel?
    God turns life around.
Turned-around Jacob skips rope,
    turned-around Israel sings laughter.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 53

Psalm 53

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

Foolish people say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”
They do all kinds of horrible and evil things.
    No one does anything good.

God looks down from heaven
    on all people.
He wants to see if there are any who understand.
    He wants to see if there are any who trust in God.
All of them have turned away.
    They have all become evil.
No one does anything good,
    no one at all.

Don’t these people who do evil know anything?
    They eat up my people as if they were eating bread.
    They never call out to God for help.
Just look at them! They are filled with terror
    even when there is nothing to be afraid of!
People of Israel, God scattered the bones of those who attacked you.
    You put them to shame, because God hated them.

How I pray that the God who saves Israel will come out of Zion!
    God will bless his people with great success again.
    Then let the people of Jacob be filled with joy! Let Israel be glad!