Fool or Full of Joy?
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is none who does good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the LORD?
5 There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
6 You would shame the plans of the poor,
but the LORD is his refuge.
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
Psalm 14 (ESV)
Does anyone else think this Psalm could have been written today? I have to admit that I hesitated to post it with my comments, because in our environment today I would not be surprised to see it blocked. But I will share God’s word, because if there is help and hope to be found, it is in The Word. If there is peace and rest to be had, it will come from the Truth. And if there is healing for any people or nation; it will come when the people make God the Lord of their lives.
Notice how the Psalmist balances the sad reality with a better reality…the spiritual reality that God is involved in every aspect of his creation. There is hope. He looks “to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God” Psalm 14:2 (ESV). Why? Why does he put it in those particular words? If God is real and all-powerful, he does not have to look for those who understand and seek him. He already knows!
I believe the songwriter knew that in our dark times we would wonder if God sees us—if he understands what is going on in our lives. This song is a fair description of almost every generation from the beginning of time. It also mirrors our fears. It almost seems like a question or even a challenge to our fears. Can we understand God has us in the palm of his hand and we can trust him no matter what?
Listen to the comfort: “God is with the generation of the righteous”; “the Lord is his refuge”. And the final word? Joy! This pure gift of joy comforts us now, and we will joyfully celebrate with Him for eternity. I will take the liberty to update the promise found in verse 7.
“Oh, salvation for my people has come out of Zion!
The Lord has restored the fortunes of his people,
Let the saved rejoice, let my people be glad.