EMPTY HEARTS: NO GOD
God, I need You, every day, every hour, every moment.
Read Psalm 14
For the director of music. Of David.
1 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 all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
5 But 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 his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectImagine God looking down on your community through an ordinary day. Picture the sorts of activity he might see.
The Hebrew word the NIV translates here as “fool” has little to do with brain-power. It more exactly means spiritually and morally deficient. Personally, I am not comfortable about addressing my dear, non-believing friends as fools. Turn the idea around, though, and we find a powerful reality. Those who are corrupt and immoral typically deny the existence of our God.
Paul, in Romans chapter 3, uses this psalm to describe the general condition of humankind: all have sinned. Of course, this is an eternal, biblical truth but the psalms are also very much expressions of the human heart. David is lamenting the specific plight of individuals in his own time. As the psalmist writes, “there they are” (5), willfully ignoring the presence and the grace of the living God.
The traits of these particular Godless fools are interesting. Several are of special relevance to our own times. Note, for example, that the wicked are determinedly opposed to the interests of the poor. Also (though they probably don’t admit it to themselves), at heart, evildoers are filled with dread. Many identify these two issues—growing injustice and a dark, underlying fear—as characteristic of our Godless age. Well might we echo the psalmist in verse 7!
How can you share the light of God’s hope with someone who is overwhelmed by the world’s fear and injustice? What Scripture truths would benefit them?
Do we pray for our nation as often as we should? How might you adapt verse 7 as a prayer for your own country?
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