Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 14:1
“For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” – Psalm 14:1
This is a verse where, if it is read in the way our modern society understands it, we would miss the true meaning. The Hebrew word fool has the idea of a wicked, vile, or contemptable individual: one who has an unclean heart and who rejects the idea of a loving, infinite, and all powerful being. They do this by claiming, ‘There is no God, and only a fool or ignorant person would think there is.’
Now, the word fool is not to be used in the same way we use the word atheist. For it has a broader meaning than this. An atheist is one who denies the very existence of God. There are some who totally deny He exists, and this is the main thought communicated here. However, there are other ways to look at this. For instance, there are some who acknowledge the existence of a god, but not the true God. The idea here is that they do not necessarily deny an infinite God, however they do not believe He has any role in their lives. They do not accept it as having anything to do here. This is the idea of deism, which rejects revelation from God as a source of religious knowledge, for He simply created everything and then left it alone. They assert that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to establish the idea that God exists. However, there is no communication with God. Then, there are those who choose a god with attributes that are more pleasing then the attributes of the true God. Basically, they accept the idea there is a god, but they pick or create it based on what makes them feel good, or what they can accept.
Isaiah states the following regarding the fool or unbeliever. “For a fool speaks nonsense, And his heart inclines toward wickedness: To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the LORD, To keep the hungry person unsatisfied And to withhold drink from the thirsty.” Isaiah 32:6. According to Isaiah, the vile person speaks of things that can be labeled nonsense. He tends toward ungodliness, speaking falsehoods against the true God, and does not help those who need their assistance, but ignores their plight.
Going back to our focus verse, David ends by saying ‘There is no one who is good.’ And he is correct. Paul essentially quotes this verse in his letter to the Romans. “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;” Romans 3:10. None of us are perfect. Paul again says it better than I can. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. But Christ paid the penalty for our sins, and by accepting what He has done and living our lives fully devoted to Him, we are no longer a fool as David said above, but we are His handiwork. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10. And one of the good works God called us to and prepared us for, is to live in such a way that we can be a witness to those who, in our focus verse were denoted as fools, so they can become His handiwork as well.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.