There Is No God: A reflection on Psalm 14

Earlier this week I was speaking with someone and I brought up the book of Romans, specifically where Paul was chastising the Jewish Christians of the Roman church for being judgemental of the gentile Christians. He makes a point about how the Jews are in no positions to be harsh with the gentiles, because they are both equally guilty of sin. I was drawing a parallel between this and other issues we were talking about. This conversation led me to think about chapter 3 verses 10 and 12;

as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

This is a callback to Psalm 14;

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
    there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon the Lord?

There they are in great terror,
    for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is his refuge.

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.

This Psalm stuck out to me given the events of the past few weeks. I like to find parallels of biblical text that relate to our modern world. It can lead to a better understanding of what you’re reading if you can find a way to insert yourself into the story. This chapter in particular didn’t take a lot of work.

We live in an age where the disregarding of religion has become fashionable. It at times seems hard to find anyone who seeks to do good, especially of those who work for Caesar. Everyday it gets harder to find those who seek after God. At times it feels as though the whole world has turned aside and become corrupt. But, as with this Psalm, it’s important to remember that God is with the generation of the righteous. Though the world my shame the plans of the poor, the Lord is our refuge.

The conclusion of this chapter is widely considered to be David foretelling the coming of Jesus. As he said, the Lord will restore the fortunes of his people. (I would point out that ‘fortunes’ here doesn’t denote material fortune, but spiritual.) To end, he states ‘let Israel be glad.’

This, I think, is the best thing we can draw from. Regardless of how bad things in the world seem to get, the Lord will restore his people. It may not be anytime soon, but someday, it will all be over. The fight will have been worth it. With a loud cry, the shout of an angel, the blare of a trumpet, we will meet the Lord in the air. There is an endless amount of discourse in the world, and even in the church at times it seems no one can agree. The day will come when our disagreements on how to worship, or how our churches should look, and what was the right translation to use will all be irrelevant. On that day when, God-willing, we are all called home, none of our earthly squabbles will matter anymore. Some day we will be restored, in the truest sense of the word.

Let us be as glad as Israel.

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