Psalm 14

• Spurgeon labeled this psalm: Concerning Practical Atheism.

• Compare also Psalm 53.

For the director of music. Of David.

A. The Fool
14:1 The fool [term synonymous with “wicked” and refers to one who is morally deficient; not necessarily someone who is ignorant or an atheist but instead one who disregards and tries to live independently from God; one who does not feel accountable to God for his behavior (cf. Ps. 10:3-11)] says in his heart [indication that the “fool” has convictions; “On earth are atheists many, In hell there are not any.” (T. Brooks)], “There is no God [denies the importance of God’s existence].” They [the wicked or fools] are [1] corrupt [actions or behavior that is ruinous], their [2] deeds are vile [acts done with complete disregard for God and His expectations]; there is [3] no one who does good [summary statement; the sum of a life lived without regard for God].

B. The Lord’s Perspective
14:2 The Lord looks down [to witness and observe our actions; everything we do is in the sight of the Lord; we can never do anything behind God’s back] from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any [God is looking for those who are wise…] who understand [the wise understand and act according to their understanding of God’s revelation of Himself], any who seek [and live according to God’s standards] God.

14:3 [what God sees when He looks down…] [1] All have turned away [to become apostate], [2] all have become corrupt [meaning derived from Arabic, “to make sour” (as of milk)]; [3] there is no one [reinforces the previous use of the word “all” to define the scope of the problem] who does good, not even one.

C. The Prophetic Perspective
14:4 Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour [as they pursue their selfish interests; they do so with complete disregard for the rights of others; they have an insatiable appetite] my people [and their possessions] as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord [the evildoers do not care that God is looking down from heaven or will one day call them to account for their actions].

14:5 But [the day of reckoning will come] there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present [even when it feels as though He is not] in the company of the righteous.

14:6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their [refers to the “my people” of verse 4, “the company of the righteous” of verse 5, and “the poor” of verse 6] refuge [the shelter].

D. The Hope of the Righteous

14:7 [a prayer for the salvation of God’s people, possibly at a time of national disaster like the Exile] Oh, that salvation for Israel would come [the day when God will save His people from those who oppress them] out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice [because of God’s saving acts on their behalf] and Israel be glad!

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