From Psalms 9-16
Today’s psalm is well known and is very similar to Psalm 53. Both contrast two kinds of people. The foolish and the righteous.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Ps 14.1 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. (Ps 14.1-3)
David distances himself from the fool and makes universal claims about all those who have rejected the LORD.
Of the foolish he says, ‘there is none who does good’.
None understand or seek after God. They have been corrupted.
David describes their actions (none do good), their minds (none understand), their life’s pursuit (none seek) and their being (corrupt) all in negative terms.
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. (Ps 14.4-6)
David describes how the fools treat his people. They eat them up and consume them. Obviously not literally. David describes his people being killed, violated and plundered.
However the fools are afraid because God is with the generation of the righteous.
David’s people are the righteous. The fools may try to oppress the poor, but the LORD will protect them.
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. (Ps 14.7)
The Psalm is about the fools who have rejected the LORD persecuting the righteous who take refuge in Him. David looks forward to the time when the LORD will save his people and restore their fortunes.
Story of Israel
I’ve said a few times before that Israel is a mix of those who trust in the LORD and those who dont. Not all Israel is Israel (Rom 9.6). In this Psalm David contrasts these people groups. He speaks about the LORD’s actions to save one from another. Which is what the Lord does throughout Israel’s history.
The Lord saved David from Saul. He saved David from Absalom his son. He saved prophets from the wicked in Israel.
The wicked in the bible seem to always want to persecute the righteous.
Story of Jesus
In his dialogue with an imaginary Jew (Rom 2.17) Paul quotes from this Psalm in Romans 3.
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off?
No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Rom 3:9–12; cf. Ps 14.1-3)
Then following up with;
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. (Rom 3:19)
You may not have known Paul sometimes refers to the Psalms as the law.
The presence of ‘fools’ within Israel shows their bloodline are not the true elect. God’s true elect are those who take refuge in Him (Ps 14.6).
Those who believe Jesus is the risen Lord (Rom 10.9-10) are the generation of the righteous (Ps 14.5) in his eyes.
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