Daily Fiber
for the soul

by Edward E. Thomason

PSALM 14
SLICE ONE: LEARNING
(feed your head)

The "crust" of the matter:
This Psalm might be titled as "an outline of a corrupt society."

Ingredients this serving:
Ps 14:1-3 Personal corruptness
Ps 11:4-7 Social corruptness

The fool within

Lesson: Some are atheists by faith and others are atheists by practice. (In other words, while some might not say they do not believe that God actually exists, their actions and deeds convey that the same thing is believed "in their heart.")

Psalm 14:1a The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God . . .

Comments to munch on:
A "fool" can be anyone that does not believe in God sufficiently to conduct their lives in fear of His wrath. If we were to number the atheists in our community in accordance to their verbal denial of Godís existence, we might have a small number. But if we number them in accordance to how many "fear God and keep his commandments" we might have a long list.

 

1. How can a person say that he believes in God and not be afraid of His wrath?
2. Discuss some of the ways that men indicate today that in their heart of hearts, they really donít believe in God.

The fool without

Psalm 14:1b-3 They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They all are gone aside, they all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no not one.

Comments to munch on:
As previously mentioned, proof that many people do not believe in God is seen and expressed by their actions and life styles. The Psalmist lists some of the indications of a foolish and corrupt society: (1) People are corrupt or rotten within, (2) People do abominable or despicable works, (3) No one does good, (4) God finds it hard to find those who discern and seek Him, (5) People all turn aside from God and become filthy, (6) There is none that do good "no not one." Such a list gives us a very depressing view of humanity, yet it is true. (Please Note: Man is not born evil or filthy, but he chooses to do wrong and becomes filthy.) The fact that no one is sinless, indicates just how helpless and needy that we all are, even those who believe in God.

1. Discuss the reality of sin in our world. Is anyone immune? The statement by the Psalmist that no one does good, is not meant to be an exaggeration. He evidently uses the term "good" in the sense of moral perfection as in "God is good" and not in the sense of doing good deeds. (Cf., Matthew 19:16-17). Can anyone today claim moral perfection? As we look at mankind today, do we see a lost world?

 



The fool at large

Psalm 14:4-6 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread and call not upon the Lord. There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.

Comments to munch on:
The Psalmist is wondering why all the workers of iniquity (sin) seem to have no knowledge or discernment. (Shouldnít history teach them anything? Shouldnít they learn from the past something of Godís wrath and Godís dislike of such conduct? He wonders how men of such intelligence can be so foolish when it comes to God.) He also notes that the wicked seem to easily devour and consume the people of God with about as much forethought as eating a slice of bread. Yet, the Psalmist seems to remember a time (perhaps when Israel left Egypt) when the wicked were in great fear. He recalls how God seems to always be with the "generation of the righteous" and becomes a refuge for the poor and mistreated.

1. Discuss some examples of how the wicked will often hurt others with about as much thought as one that eats bread.
2. Isnít it true that Godís goodness and justice is often forgotten or ignored by mankind? Discuss times in Biblical or secular history when the wicked and oppressors fell in defeat and shame. Does it always seem to end this way?
3. Discuss the fact that when one opposes God he is opposed to the One who controls the universe and his defeat is certain. Also discuss the fact that when one is on the side of God, he is always on the side of victory even if no one else believes.
4. Describe times when the non-believer might be in "fear." What would cause him to fear today?

SLICE TWO: LIVING
(nourish your soul)

1. Discuss some reasons why you believe in God.
2. How would you help someone else to believe in God who does not have such a faith?
3. What is "the difference" between someone who does not believe in God and someone who says he believes but does not live and conduct his life according to that faith?

A FEW MORE CRUMBS
(fragments overlooked)

Psalm 14:7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad

Lesson: The Psalmist longs for God to restore the fortunes of his people. What joy there is when hearts that are captured by sin are redeemed! David knew, by inspiration, that the salvation of Israel and all of mankind would come out of Zion. That the day would come when those that corrupt themselves could be set free from their sin. That day has come through Jesus Christ - the Messiah!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Thomason - copyright © 2000