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.
There are many reasons why this statement is so obviously true. Denial is not a river in Egypt. Denying God will not make God go away. Whether or not you believe in God or confess Him as God will not change who He is and that He is the sole determiner of what is wrong or right, corrupt or authentic, pure or vile. The fool, according to the psalmist, is not a theoretical atheist or philosophical agnostic. It is not someone who is struggling with the existence of God on the intellectual level, but the man or woman who has, in his or her heart, determined to be a practical atheist – to live as if there were no God or as if His existence did not matter. He is concerned with how this statement of the heart manifests itself in our lives. Now the question: Is there some area of your own life, where in your heart, you are declaring, “There is no God?” Have you pushed Him to the side in your deliberations and decision-making? Have you excluded His influence in areas where there is conflict with your own desires and lusts? God calls that foolishness and identifies the results as corrupt and vile- rotten and degraded to the core. Do business with God today in this area of your life and allow Him to scrutinize you and bring you healing grace.
Psalm 14:2- The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand any who seek God.
Well, what does He find in me? That is the question I must answer. That is the question you must ask yourself. When he looks down upon me does He find understanding and seeking? Some don’t understand and don’t know that they don’t understand. Some understand and have locked their understanding into a formula and have stopped seeking. Others know that they don’t understand but have acquiesced to a position of irrational hopelessness and have given up seeking. None of these responses pleases God when He looks down upon the sons of men. There are others who both understand and seek. They understand enough to know that there is much that they do not understand and so they seek in those areas. When God gives some understanding, they don’t stop seeking and become self-satisfied with their limited knowledge, but they keep seeking – even more earnestly. That pleases God so very much. Examine your heart today using this criterion and keep seeking God – more and more.
Psalm 14:3 - All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
It is the universality of the fall and of sin that the psalmist is struggling with here. We were not designed to be corrupt. We were created in the image of God. But sin corrupts us to the very core. The rottenness of perverted intentions stains our lives beyond repair. We cannot fix ourselves. Our attempts at doing good to win some favor with God are also corrupt and drive us deeper into separation from God. Not even one person does good. That is amazing. But it is the reason why Jesus came and died, rose again and returned to the Father to send His Spirit to indwell us. We need the righteousness of Christ to be imparted and imputed to us. And we need His presence within us to work His goodness out through us. These words are a reminder to long-term believers not to become proud, boastful, or self-righteous. If our salvation and acceptance by God depended upon our own goodness, we would be hopeless. But God sees us not looking down from above. He looks upon us directly through the face of His Son. Thank God today, as you pray, for His mercy.
Psalm 14:4 - Will evildoers never learn - those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord?
We are flabbergasted at the inability of some to learn the futility of their ways. We are surrounded by masses who do not call upon the Lord and who devour believers in many ways The temptation is to bulge out our chests and lift our noses in pride proclaiming, “I’m glad I’m not like that” That’s the wrong approach. The response of faith would be to look within with the searchlight of God’s truth and pray, “Lord, is there an area of coldness and rebellion in my heart where I am refusing to learn? Am I devouring the person you made me to be?” What distinguishes and delivers the believer is that he or she calls upon the Lord.
Psalm 14:5 – There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
Sooner or later, even the wicked come to their senses, sometimes too late, and realize that God is present in the company of the righteous. That realization brings dread unless the message of God’s love and forgiveness intervenes. Some will fight it. Others will flee from it. But there will be some who, out of the fear and dread of judgment, will come into the flow of grace through repentance and faith. The plight of the oppressor is far worse than that of the oppressed. Therefore, we must pray for sinners to come to a knowledge of truth and live out the credibility of the gospel so that we never bring discredit to Name of Jesus. Pray today for someone who is overwhelmed with dread and examine your own life as well.
Psalm 14:6 - You evil doers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.
The complaint of the poor man is often that, as hard as he tries, he just can’t get ahead. Something or someone is always thwarting and frustrating his efforts. So it is with anyone who tries to “get ahead” spiritually on the clout of his or her own spiritual reserves. Our plans come to naught because they are wrought in the flesh and human effort. God is our refuge. That is a constant. In Him we have hope and a future. In Him, we are rich beyond our dreams. His resources cannot be depleted. Jesus said, “blessed are the poor.” The poor in Christ know where the riches lie and rely upon God’s storehouse to supply all that they need. They trust all their plans to Him and rely on Him for every breath.
Psalm 14:7 - Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
The psalmist prays for His people and, perhaps unwittingly, all who will be blessed by them. Indeed, the salvation of Israel and all people has come out of Zion and David’s longing prayer is answered in Jesus Christ. Today is a day of worship and praise. We pray for the day when Jesus comes again to set all things right. May the words of this psalm evoke deep praise and anticipatory joy in our hearts and we lay ourselves bare before God. What fortunes of spiritual treasure would you have Him restore for you today? What is the longing for His presence in you that is most personal for you as you pray?