For the director of music. Of David.
The fool says in his heart,
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!(Ps. 14:1-7 NIV)
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
This Psalm explores the folly of the wicked. The fool denies the existence of God or lives as if God did not exist. The wicked believe that there is no limit to their personal power. Their successes make them hold the poor in contempt. God has no place in their thinking. Their ethical and moral decisions are made without reference to God. The fool is not lacking in intelligence, the corrupt action that follows from their folly is not a result of ignorance but a result of their decision that God has no effective place in human life. The rebellion of the wicked makes the world a much worse place. Their deeds are vile and have a deleterious impact on the lives around them. There are none who do good.
Like the scene before the flood and at the Tower of Babel, God looks down from heaven on the whole of humanity to see if there is any to recognise God and seek Him, but again the Psalmist says ‘there is no one who does good, not even one.’ This is not simple ignorance but a rebellious rejection of a relationship with God. These foolish people are church people who have turned away, they have become corrupt. Some leave the church, but many remain. They have no understanding of the place of God. They devour the Lord’s people. They have a negative influence upon church gatherings and church activities. They never look to the Lord and they are overwhelmed with bitterness and dread. However influential they may appear God is still with His people. These evildoers seek to frustrate the plans of those who know their need of God. In these circumstances the people of God should continue to look to the Lord who is their refuge. The outburst of prayer is like a kind of exasperation because of the folly of those who are frustrating the work of the Lord. The Psalmist cries out, just as we feel like doing as we see the state of the world and the church ‘Oh that salvation would come to the church from Heaven and then the people of God can rejoice’.
Lord there are frequent times in our lives when we live as if you didn’t exist. We harm ourselves and we harm others around us. Overwhelm us with your salvation so that we will be caught up in the praise of Your Name, and the folly that has clothed us will disappear from our hearts and minds and we will seek to follow you all the days of our lives. We ask this for Christ’s sake and in His name. Amen