Psalm 14

Overview

Those who do not recognize that there is a God are fools. In Romans we have been studying that there is no excuse for people to not recognize there is a God (Romans 1:18-20). I am currently reading a biography of Chuck Colson (one of the men in the Nixon administration during Watergate and also the founder of prison ministry), and he shares that there were several times before he accepted Jesus that he knew there was a God. Even though he had no relationship with God, he knew there was a God.

The Psalm continues to express that God is looking for those who are seeking him, for any who understand. David writes that it shows a lack of knowledge to continue to attack the people of God.

Finally, David shares that he is looking forward to the day when salvation comes for the people of God.

Characters

The fool, God, the children of man, evildoers, my people, the generation of the righteous, the poor, Israel, the Lord’s people, and Jacob.

Key Verse

Verse 1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.”

Cross References

For verses 1-7 see Psalm 53:1-6, Psalm 74:18, 22, Job 2:10, Psalm 10:4, Genesis 6:5, 11, 12, and Cited Romans 3:10-12

Conclusion

    Man is fallen. There is no one perfect, no one righteous, no one good, apart from Jesus Christ. We have all shown ourselves to be foolish and without knowledge for spending any time not pursuing God. We need God to fulfill his redemption in our lives, to save us from others and from ourselves, our own flesh.

Jesus in the Psalm

    As I observed in the beginning after reading through the Psalm three times, our Romans study fits very well with this Psalm. In another Psalm coming up, “David says that God’s self-revelation through creation is a universal language producing “knowledge” (19:1-4)…Even the “law is written on their hearts” (Rom. 2:15-16). So to deny that God exists requires “suppressing the truth,” which produces foolish and conflicting thoughts (Rom. 1:18, 2:15, Titus 1:16).”*

My commentary continues to make the same point I saw, which is that we all practice this foolishness “at some level by refusing to do good or seek after God—as though he did not exist (Ps. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12).”*

One of our lessons in Engaging Islam trainings is about the Cosmic Drama, the drama that has been unfolding since before we were born. The themes of Scripture that seem repetitive and boring to some, or confusing to others are explained in this teaching so that we can see the trends of humanity, and the need for Jesus. The wrath of God against those who are choosing their own deaths, through foolishness and evil, is one of these themes (Psalm 31:13; Jeremiah 6:16-26; Joshua 10:10; Philippians 1:28). God’s justice in punishing sinners is part of what makes him a righteous God. Knowing that He will provide justice is part of what we rely on to protect us from those who do evil against us and our loved ones. However, we are these evil people who do not deserve to be saved. Rather we deserve God’s wrath. Once again, we are reminded that David had a repentant relationship with God. He has confidence in God because of his holy righteousness for sure.

And yet another theme, and aspect of God is that of His grace (1 Peter 5:10). David and all of us rely on His provision of refuge for those who come to Him (Psalm 14:6; 35:10). Because of this we have nothing to fear from others, and can have confidence and assurance of salvation.

Finally, of course, Jesus is the payment for our sins. He is the salvation David never saw in his own lifetime. Jesus broke through the separation between man and God so that all men, no matter whether they were Jew or Gentile, can find salvation, hope, and confidence in Him. Jesus is the fulfillment of this Psalm as well as the fulfillment of our lives and hearts.

Matthew 27:51-54; Hebrews 10:20; Psalm 14:7; Ephesians 2:11-22; Romans 3:28-30

Tomorrow: Psalm 15 & Next Week’s Reading Plan

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases of the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 14

  1. I find verse 4 and 5 particularly significant because they address a focus to follow:”…but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.” It’s useful to know what “not” to do or be; but one needs to know what to do or be in its stead. Meaning, to be not a thief doesn’t make one a production servant — just not a thief. For this reason I prefer that which directs me “toward” some direction. I can state that I am not for evil; but more significantly, I stand for Christ.

    For myself, at least, the Psalm gives attention to one’s integrity of spirit and to its focus. Since the Holy Spirit has been provided us, and the Spirit of Christ dwells within us, it seems most reasonable that we live by that same spirit. Our Christian discipline (disciple of Christ) to live in accordance to the constructive commentary helps to solidify the ground upon which we stand, and have placed our feet steadfastly in the righteousness of the Lord. This becomes the foundation for our life, and we shall “never be moved” from the foundation upon which we have made our footing.

    In addition, I thought of the very beginning of Proverbs as well: “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭2-7‬ ESV). Verse 7, in particular, seems to echo Psalm 15 as well: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”, and a theme from Psalm 14: “…fools despise wisdom and instruction”.

    I pray that my understanding develops and brings me the Peace of the Lord in my own spirit, a comfort to my soul, and an inspiration from within that develops fruit for others who seek the same. God bless us all.

    • I am with you. I want to know what to do. Although even then some commands I just don’t understand. As I meditate on His Word, I find that more comes together and makes sense, and as His commands sink in I start to understand what to do.

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