Reading through the Bible together
One of the first things I remember about myself is that I was capable of violence and selfishness. I had several siblings and while I loved them (then and now), my earliest memories are not liking them at times and even wanting to do them harm. This was true even though we were a loving family and I never observed anything but unconditional love and forgiveness from my parents. So, deep in my heart, I have always responded to this Psalm where it says, “there is no one who does good, not even one.”
But in spite of the fact that none of us can count ourselves among the righteous by nature, we have this amazing promise that God is with us anyway and will forgive us and restore our fortunes. Perhaps it is because God is with us, has looked down on us and become our refuge, that we can even participate in what this Psalm describes as the acts of the righteous.
It is God who enables us to seek after Him, to do good to the poor, to attempt good actions. So we resonate with both parts of this Psalm—the acknowledgment of our natural inner wickedness and the praise to our God who forgives and restores our fortunes.
Lisa Clark Diller
Chair, Dept. of History and Political Studies
Southern Adventist University