Psalm 14: I Pity the Fool!
For the director of music. Of David.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
What is a fool?
According to Mr. T, it's someone who dares to cross him. Mr. T played boxer Clubber Lang in the Rocky series. He is a very large man, so crossing him is not a good idea if you don't want any broken bones.
But actually, I think we often hear people calling others fools or foolish. What does it actually mean to be foolish? According to Dictionary.com, a fool is "a silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense." So being called a fool is not a compliment. It usually implies you lack good decision making.
But what does the Bible have to say about fools? Ecclesiastes 10:2 says "As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly." Hey, you can't say you didn't learn anything on this blog, who else knew the word "vomit" was in the Bible? This verse is saying that fools don't learn from their mistakes. Isaiah 32:6 says that "Fools speak foolishness and make evil plans." Fools aren't just "stupid people," they're also people who make "evil plans."
This all leads us to today's Psalm. David writes that "The fool says in his heart, 'there is not God.'" A fool isn't just unintelligent, but they're someone who doesn't put their trust in God. A fool lives like God doesn't exist. Their behavior mimics this, as they are "corrupt," and their "deeds are vile."
Good thing none of us are fools!...
That can't be right....
The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
No one? Are we sure? I mean, I'm not that bad right? I sometimes seek God...that's enough right?
Yeah David writes here that ALL have turned away and become corrupt. According to most scholars, "all" here means the "gentiles," that is, people who are not Jewish. There is a reason David is saying this. What separates the Jews from the Gentiles is that the Jews have God's Law. They know what God has required of them, and the Gentiles do not know it yet. Like the Gentiles, the Jews would be fools as well without the Law because all of humanity's default is "the fool." This means that all of us are corrupted by sin and we need God to teach us how to live and become wise instead of foolish.
God opposes the evil and will bring shelter and deliverance to those who follow Him. David says "Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!" What is this salvation? Who is this salvation? This salvation is God Himself. Jesus Christ. Who showed us all how to live, died, and rose again for us.
We can only be wise if we learn from God how to live, and Jesus is the ultimate example of how to live.
To love the unlovable. To serve the suffering. To bring healing.
Let's not be fools, but instead ask God to give us a Spirit of wisdom that wants to follow God more and more.
Challenge: Take some time and think through some areas of your life where you've thought you knew best, but you clearly didn't. Times when you leaned into your foolish sin nature instead of God's wisdom. Ask yourself why you did what you did. Spend some time reading from the life of Jesus where He lives the wise life (Matthew 5). Then pray and ask God to give you Wisdom to apply God's commands to your situation.