1 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.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one.
4 Will evildoers never learn—those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the LORD? 5 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 the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
Psalm 14 – Who said, ‘There is no God’?
(Verse 1) The man who says ‘There is no God’ is in fact claiming he has seen, considered and assessed all available evidence from all time in history and from all places worldwide, and is personally competent to reach a final conclusion, namely, ‘There is no God.’ The world calls him an ‘atheist’: God calls him a ‘fool’.
A person who says, ‘I do not know’, is an ‘agnostic’. (That word means ‘don’t know’, or ‘ignorant’). To deny dogmatically that God exists makes a person both an ‘atheist’ and, God says, a ‘fool’. Psalm 14 provides some reasons why he is foolish. Verse 1 opens with: ‘The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’’ This man does not use his head to weigh well all the evidence properly: instead, he carries his prejudice in his heart against God. So, his decision is not based on fact or reason. It comes from his biased feelings. Every thought he now holds about God is prejudiced. However intelligent and educated he may be, his basic intellectual position is therefore dishonest. Why does he act like this? Because, if he believed a holy God was watching him all the time, he knows he would have to repent of his ‘corrupt’ and ‘vile’ deeds and ask God for His forgiveness. The first of God’s Ten Commandments tells us to put no-one and nothing before God. An atheist makes a ‘god’ of his sinful rejection of God and then worships that ‘god’. That is why he cannot do ‘good’ in God’s eyes until he turns from that sin, and all the others, to ask God to pardon and restore him. In Christ that is what God does for any person – including atheists – who turns to Him, grateful that the Lord Jesus bore the wrath of God the Father against all his sins when Jesus died at Calvary in his place.
(Verses 2-3) The LORD sees that man cannot, without God’s help and the work of His Holy Spirit within, even begin to understand about God, seek God, or keep God’s good and holy standards. Each of us has a wayward, corrupt, and sinful heart.
(Verses 4-6) explain why sinners remain ignorant of God – unless and until they repent and trust in Jesus. They oppose those who are God’s, and proudly refuse to ‘call on the LORD’. One day dread will overwhelm all sinners who do not repent. Eternal punishment awaits them after death. Compare the peace and security given to ‘the company of the righteous’ believers in their ever-present God. Some ‘poor‘ believers are opposed by evil men, but ‘the LORD is their refuge’. Is He yours?
(Verse 7) David prays for God’s ‘salvation for Israel’. Even religious people need to be saved. David awaits the gladness and rejoicing when God works to restore Israel to Himself, even atheists! He restores and blesses anyone who now trusts in Jesus!