Weds 14 July - Psalm 14
1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
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Meditation on Psalm 14
Tighten your seat-belts! This Psalm describes what we once were but it ends, thanks to the mercy of God, with what we are now.
Verse 1 in the NIV uses the phrase ‘the fool…’
One dictionary describes a fool in these terms… ‘When you call someone a fool, you either mean he's gullible or just a run-of-the-mill idiot. To fool also means to play a trick or hoax on someone, and fooling around is carelessly spending time on something silly.’
Not the best definition in biblical terms. The Hebrew word translated ‘fool’ in this Psalm is ‘nabal’ and it denotes someone who is morally deficient.
This takes us back to 1 Samuel 25 where we meet Nabal. His wife, Abigail saved a situation which was about to turn violent. She said to David, “Please pay no attention to that wicked man, Nabal. He is just like his name – his name means Fool and folly goes with him.”
In ancient times it was thought that your name reflected your nature and character.
Verses 1-3 How bad is it?
What are they saying?
Where are the saying this?
‘in their heart’ In their innermost being – there is no place for God because there isn’t a God.
David Kuzik in his commentary defines the God-denying person as…
- denying what is plainly evident.
- believing in tremendous effect with no cause.
- denying a moral authority in the universe.
- believing only what can be proven by the scientific method.
- taking a dramatic, losing chance on his supposition that there is no God.
- refusing to be persuaded by the many powerful arguments for the existence of God.
What are they like?
How do they behave?
- actively vile
What does the LORD look for?
- He longs for those who might understand
- He looks for someone to seek God
What does He find?
He reinforces the message of verses 1-3
- all have turned away
- all have become corrupt
- no-one who does good – not even one.
We have seen this before in the days of Noah – different words but the same problem.
Read Genesis 6:5-7.
God was going to take decisive action – note, ‘The LORD regretted that He had made human beings…’
Just a few chapters later, a similar situation – this time in Sodom and Gomorrah. Read Genesis 18:20-21 and 19:29
We see it again when the people of Israel went into exile. Read 2 Kings 17:7-23.
We see it also when the people of Judah went into exile. Read 2 Chronicles 36:15-16.
Just when we think that, coming into the NT, there would be a change, how wrong we would be.
Come to Romans 3:9-19.
What a gloomy picture – nothing short of total depravity.
“Wait a minute”, we might all say. “I am not like that.”
Now read Romans 3:23 – ‘ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’
Verses 4-7 Is there a glimmer of hope?
Yes, there is. There always has been with God and there always will be.
v.4 ‘my people’
v.5 ‘the company of the righteous’
v.6 ‘the LORD is their refuge’
Here is the twin story of God’s righteous judgment on sin but His righteous mercy on sinners.
These are not super-human people being described here. No – they are those described in verses 1-3 but whom God has chosen to be His people – people like you and me.
Noah and family were saved.
Lot was saved.
The people of God were rescued from exile.
We, too, have been saved. Salvation has come out of heaven – Jesus.
‘Hallelujah, what a Saviour!’
Thursday 15 July - Psalm 15
Friday 16 July - Psalm 16
Saturday 17 July - Psalm 17
Sunday 18 July - Psalm 18
Monday 19 July - Psalm 19
Tuesday 20 July - Psalm 20