The fool’s faith

Scripture: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1Psalm 14:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  

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Please note: A link to an audio recording of this message can be found at the end of this article.

The heart and life of a fool and especially what he believes about God is on display in this text.

It seems strange that such a theme as this should be found as part of the Lord’s song. That this Psalm was intended for use in the public praise of God by the OT Church is clear from its title. That it is the subject of this song means that God clearly intends for His people to consider this matter in a public setting and even in the area of praise.

1. Every saint of God is prompted to sing when there is a reflection upon the state of their heart and life prior to conversion. For the Christian there may be a joyful consideration of these matters because God has changed their heart. There is undoubtedly to be a continuing rebuke of any return to thinking or action that even remotely resembles that of the wicked.

2. It is to be the practice of the saints that their praise contain a witness against the sin of any unregenerate that may be in their midst. Cp 53,  title. It may well be that on occasion there are those singing the Lord’s song and in truth their heart is not right with God at all! It is easy to see a practical example of this in the children of the righteous.


I  THE CRY OF THE HUMAN HEART—NO GOD!

1. A universal theme. It is abundantly clear that the Lord is speaking here of the heart of every man that has not been converted, v1-3—none, any, all—and not just of some special class of sinner. In context he is referring to all except those who are described as my people, v4; the generation of the righteous, v5; the poor in spirit who trust in God, v6. He is therefore speaking of the state of man by nature! Cp Rom 3:10-12Rom 3:10-12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  

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— the very words Paul uses to prove the depravity of every natural son of Adam.

2. By heart here the Scripture intends the will, the inclination/bent of nature. What he really is before God. This is the inclination of the ungodly man’s mind and will, 10:4, Rom 1:28Rom 1:28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; to retain: or, to acknowledge a reprobate...: or, a mind void of judgment or, an unapproving mind  

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. The folly of speaking and living in denial of God is deeply engrained in man’s being. It lies at the very foundation of all that he is and does. Cp Prov 27:22, 22:15Prov 27:22, 22:15
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him. 22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.  

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3. Man is by inclination a rebel against God. That rebellion is on view here. The text suggests that the sinner rejects God in a specific way. The name ‘Elohim’ is the name of the creator. Man rejects the concept of creation because he desires to reject the consequent obligation to God. If he is the creature of God he is under the law of the Creator. Cp Mk 10:6-7Mk 10:6-7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;  

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. The expression of the sinner’s heart is lawlessness. To say No God! is to break off the bands of Divine Law and the moral restraints that God has placed man under, 2:1-3. To resist and refuse the commands of God is in essence to say, No God! Cp Prov 1:7Prov 1:7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. the beginning: or, the principal part  

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. It is not necessary to be an atheist to live in this foolish way. You can even make a very visible profession of religion and still indulge a heart that cries, No God! Cp Ezek 13:3Ezek 13:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! follow: Heb. walk after and...: or, and things which they have not seen  

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—prophets who in God’s eyes were such rebels/fools because in rebellion they rejected God’s word and substituted their own message.

4. There is a completeness in this rejection. Literally the text reads: The fool has said in his heart, ‘nothing of God’!


II  A REBEL HEART PRODUCES A GODLESS LIFE.

The activity referred to in this text is the product of the heart. It is the external evidence of a state of heart. The state of the life cannot be divorced from a the state of heart. The heart is the origin of all of man’s sin, James 1:14James 1:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  

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. A heart that throws over Divine law produces such a life.

Rejection of God in the heart results in:

1. Corruption of the whole man. The character and conduct of man in their entirety are ‘destroyed, ruined’ by sin. They are beyond repair! A new creation is necessary. Every part of the person is affected by the state of the heart. All is ruin!

2. Abominable works. Works that are abhorrent to God. A very strong term that indicates the horror with which God looks upon the actions of the sinner. These are works of the basest and most shameful kind.

3. Total absence of any good. ‘Nothing of good’ is found upon Divine examination.

Of course, this is how matters appear to the Lord. Man—as an expression of his rebellion—will not share in this view of himself! Cp Rom 1:22Rom 1:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  

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. Man’s decline into depravity is on the basis of his own professed wisdom! Yet unless your heart has been brought into subjection to God and His Law—unless you have been regenerated, given the wisdom from above, spiritual discernment to know the things of God, I Cor 2:6-10,12—then this is your state before God — a ruined, corrupt, abominable rebel devoid of any good.


III  GOD SAYS THE SINNER IS A FOOL.

To defy God and overthrow His laws and commands is foolish in the extreme. By the use of this term the Lord indicates a number of things:

1. A lack of understanding, v2. The understanding in view leads to a seeking of God. It is the understanding of an obligation to God; a desperate need of God’s salvation. The sinner has no such understanding. Cp 10:4.

2. A lack of knowledge, v4. The knowledge in view here relates to the consequences of sin. They feel that they can sin with impunity.

3. The fearful condemnation of God. To be counted a fool by God is a fearful thing! It is a statement of condemnation. Cp v5, Luke 12:20Luke 12:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? thy...: Gr. do they require thy soul  

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(Fool here is the same Greek word used in the LXX in Ps 14:1Ps 14:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  

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What you need is Christ. Hear His words of invitation and warning, Prov 1:22-33Prov 1:22-33
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. turning...: or, ease of the simple 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.  

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