An earlier devotion from Psalm 14 focused on “The Fool’s Decree, Depravity, and Dilemma” and I invite you to consider that reading with today’s devotion from Psalm 14:4-7.
Psalm 14:4-7 – “Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
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.”
We notice in Psalm 14:4 three truths concerning the character and nature of the wicked.
Psalm 14:4-7 – Have all the workers [doers; makers; committers] of iniquity [wickedness; evil] no knowledge [understanding]? who eat up [devour; consume] my people [nation; tribe] as they eat [devour; consume] bread [i.e. food; meat], and call [cried; call out] not upon the LORD [Yahweh; Jehovah; Self-Existent God].
The first truth concerning the wicked is they have “no knowledge” (14:4a). That does not mean they are ignorant in the academic sense, but in the moral and spiritual sense. They are fools, not because they have a deficiency of intellect, but because they have rejected God and therefore lack spiritual discernment and insight (note Psalm 14:1).
Secondly, the wicked devour people (14:4b). A sinner’s nature is naturally bent to his own self-interest. In his basest level, he is a soul driven by lusts and will trample under those who are obstacles to him feeding his sinful passions. David describes the wicked as eating “up my people”. Illustrative of that truth are the hordes of murdering terrorists that are shedding the blood of thousands of professing Christians in the Middle East because they will not bow to their will and threats of murder.
The third truth concerning the wicked is they do not call upon the LORD (14:4c). David stated the wicked have rejected God (14:1-3); therefore they do not know Him. They are deaf to the Word of the LORD and will silence the preacher of God’s Word if empowered.
Romans 10:14 – “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Psalm 14:5 – There were they in great [dread; alarm] fear [startled; afraid]: for God is in the generation of the righteous [just; law-abiding].
The wicked are not only bold in their rejection of God, they are also bold in their sin until the shadow of death grips their hearts. In contrast, the righteous whose faith and trust is in the LORD, have the peace and comfort of their Shepherd when death comes knocking (Psalm 23:4).
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Psalm 14:6 – Ye have shamed [confounded; confused; disappointed] the counsel [purpose; advice] of the poor [humble; afflicted; lowly; weak], because the LORD is his refuge [shelter; trust; hope].
The wicked afflict and shame the poor (i.e. “poor in spirit” – Matthew 5:3) because they hate the LORD and all who put their faith and trust in Him.
Psalm 14:7 – Oh that [give; put deliver] the salvation [help; deliverance; welfare] of Israel [descendants of Jacob] were come out of Zion [mountain of Jerusalem]! when the LORD bringeth back [return; restore; turn back] the captivity [exile] of his people [nation; tribe], Jacob [the patriarch of Israel] shall rejoice [be glad; be joyful], and Israel shall be glad [brighten; rejoice].
Psalm 14 ends with a Messianic aspiration: King David expresses a longing that the LORD would rule in Israel and bring with Him the joy and prosperity He alone can give.
My friend, we near the end of 2015 and Christians and sinners alike are conscious the world is in desperate straits. Wanton bloodshed, threats of riots in our cities, the danger of anarchy, and terrorist attacks shadow our communities, nation and world. The rise of evil, whether robed in the piety of a lawless religion or adorned in the demands of militant social justice, remind us the world has rejected God’s offer of peace and salvation through the sacrifice of His Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Saints of God, don’t despair! The LORD promised He would return and when He does He will right the wrongs and establish a kingdom of peace for a millennium before His final judgment.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith