Psalm 14:1-7 NKJV
14 The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
3 They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call on the Lord?
5 There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
6 You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.
7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
In Psalm 14, we encounter a stark portrayal of human depravity and the foolishness of those who reject God. As believers, we hold firmly to the biblical understanding of humanity’s fallen nature and our desperate need for God’s grace and salvation. Luther, in his 1531 “Summaries of the Psalms,” says this: “The 14th Psalm is a prophecy and a psalm of instruction which teaches us that the doctrine and life of all men without faith is nothing but an abomination before God. Their best worship of God is only belly worship by which they fatten themselves by devouring the goods of the people. They do not know or understand anything of the true worship of God, although they teach and praise the law of God. Moreover, they profane and blaspheme God’s word, whenever it at all rebukes them and they will hear nothing about trust or faith in God.” The Psalm begins with a solemn declaration that those who deny God’s existence are foolish. As believers, we acknowledge that our human wisdom cannot save us; we are wholly dependent on God’s grace for redemption.
The Psalmist observes the corruption of humanity, emphasizing that all have turned aside and become corrupt. It underscores the universal nature of sin and our inability to do good on our own. This recognition, from the Holy Spirit through the Word, leads us to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, acknowledging our desperate need for a Savior.
Despite the depravity described in the Psalm, there is hope and consolation in God. The Lord is the refuge of the poor and oppressed, offering comfort and deliverance to those who trust in Him. The Psalmist expresses a heartfelt longing for the salvation of God’s people. This longing finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the ultimate Savior who redeems us from sin and offers eternal life to all who believe in Him.
Let us pray: Almighty and eternal God, pour down on us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.