Folly of the Godless, and God’s Final Triumph.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call on the Lord? 5 There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous. 6 You shame the counsel of the poor, But the Lord is his refuge.
7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
- The psalm deals with the character and conduct of the “practical atheist” and adds to the messages of Psalms 10 and 12. The three Psalms present a vivid picture of the ungodly—-their proud attitude (10), their deceitful words (12), and now their corrupt deeds (14). All that they are, say, and do comes from their arrogant (and ignorant) belief that “there is no God.”…..During the reign of King Saul, the spiritual level of the nation was very low, and many Jews followed the bad example of Israel’s first king. But even in the worst of times, God has cared for His faithful remnant and has been their refuge in times of trouble. Note the characteristics of the “practical atheists.”
- Willful Folly—-They Ignore God (vv. 1-3). Our English word ‘fool’ comes from a Latin word that means”bellows,” suggesting that the fool is a person “full of hot air.” In the Hebrew language, there are three basic words for “fool”: ‘kesyl,’ the dull, stupid fool; ‘ewiyl,’ the unreasonable and perverted fool; and ‘nabal,’ the brutish person who is like a stubborn animal. Nabal is the word used in 14:1, and it was the name of a man who was brutish and refused to help David ( 1 Sam. 25)……The American evangelist, Billy Sunday used to say that sinners can’t find God for the same reason criminals can’t find policemen—-they aren’t looking!
- Nabal fools are self-righteous and don’t need or want God……Their problem is willful ignorance and not lack of normal intelligence (2 Peter 3:5; Rom. 1:18-28)……By leaving God out of their lives, they cause their inner person to become more and more corrupt—-the heart (v. 1), the mind (vv. 2, 4), and the will (v. 3)……When God looks down to investigate (Gen. 6:5, 11-12; 18:21), He sees people who are filthy (v. 3), a word that describes milk that has become rancid. “Gone aside” means they have turned their backs on God (Jer. 2:21) and refuse to fulfill the purpose for which they were created—-to glorify God.
- This indictment is universal: All people, individually or all together, cannot do anything at all that is good enough to merit heaven—-no one, no, not one……Human depravity doesn’t mean that all persons are as wicked as they can be, or that all are equally bad, or that no man or woman can ever do anything good (Luke 11:13). It simply means that all have a fallen nature they cannot change and that apart from the grace of God none can be saved from eternal judgement.
- Sudden Fear—-They Meet God (vv. 4-6). Someone asked the agnostic British philosopher Bertrand Russell what he would say if, when he died, he suddenly found himself standing before God. Russell replied, “You did not give us sufficient evidence!” If the heaven above us, the earth beneath our feet, the wonders of the nature around us, and the life and conscience within us don’t convince us of a wise and powerful Creator, how much more evidence must the Lord give?…..
- These practical atheists take advantage of the weak and the poor, and they will not call upon the Lord……People must never be used as a means to an end or “treated as consumer goods,” as Eugene H. Peterson expresses it. Instead of praying to God, the wicked prey on the godly. But then the Lord suddenly appears in judgement, and He identifies Himself with the remnant of faithful believers……God is their refuge when the enemy attacks, and God will protect His own people.
- Joyless Future—-They Have No God (v. 7). God has promised that the Redeemer will one day come to Zion and deliver His people in mighty power (Is 59:16-21; Jer. 31:33-34), and Paul affirmed this at the close of his great discussion of the future redemption of the Jewish nation (Rom. 11:25-32)……The phrase “bringeth back the captivity” means “to restore the fortunes, to radically change circumstances from bad to very good.” The day will come when Jesus Christ will return, defeat His enemies, cleanse the nation of Israel, and establish His righteous kingdom on this earth (Zech. 10-14). What a time of rejoicing that will be when the prayer “thy kingdom come” is fulfilled!
- Those who reject Jesus Christ will spend eternity apart from the Lord and will honestly be able to say in hell, “There is no God—-here!”
I wish everyone a very a very blessed day.