Scripture reading – Psalm 14; Psalm 16
Our devotional will consider two psalms of David, Psalm 14 and Psalm 16. The occasion of these two psalms is not given; however, Psalm 14 was certainly penned when David was king, for it is titled, “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.”
Psalm 14 presents the universal definition of a fool: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They [fools] are corrupt, they have done abominable works, There is none that doeth good.”
The Fool’s Decree (Psalms 14:2a)
The fool’s decree is summed up in this: He has “said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1b). “No God” is not merely something he said, but something that arose from within the fool’s heart. He rejected the Almighty, Supreme God in his attitudes and actions and within his heart, mind, and thoughts. Such a man is not a fool because he is mentally deficient or lacks academic accomplishments. No, he is a fool because he rejected God in practice and principle.
The Fool’s Depravity (Psalms 14:2b)
The depravity of a fool is displayed in his wicked, pernicious ways. Fools tend to be morally corrupt. Having rejected God, they open their hearts to all manner of wickedness. They are purveyors of abominable works. In Paul’s letter to believers in Rome, he described the abominations of those who rejected God, observing, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22-31).
The Fool’s Dilemma (Psalms 14:3-4)
Consider also the fool’s spiritual dilemma (Psalm 14:3-4). A universal commonality of fools is that they reject God, and there are “none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:3). Fools deny the LORD at their peril, for He is omniscient and knows all! He ponders and considers the hearts of all men and asks: “Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?” (Psalm 14:4a). In other words, are they utterly void of understanding?
The Fool’s Denouncement (Psalms 14:4b-6)
Psalm 14:4b-6 is an indictment of fools. They devour and persecute God’s people (Psalm 14:4b). Yet, the fear of God consumes them, and they provoke Him to wrath (Psalm 14:5). They shame and have contempt for all who look to the LORD as their refuge (Psalm 14:6).
Psalm 14:7 – Oh that the salvation of Israel [the descendants of Jacob] were come out of Zion [the mountain of Jerusalem]! When the LORD bringeth back [restores] the captivity [exile] of his people, Jacob [i.e., Israel] shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad [brighten; rejoice].
The final verse of Psalm 14 expresses a Messianic aspiration and a longing for the LORD to rule in Israel and restore the joy and prosperity He alone can give.
Believer, don’t despair! Though fools may rage, the LORD has promised to return. When He does, He will right the wrongs and establish a kingdom of peace for a millennium before His final judgment.
Psalms 16 – Don’t fret! God is the believer’s refuge!
“Michtam of David” is the title of Psalm 16 and is essentially a poem by David. Some scholars suggest the title for Psalm 16 could be a “Golden Psalm of David.” This portion of today’s devotion is a concise summary.
The LORD Our Refuge (Psalms 16:1-2)
Psalm 16:1-2 – “Preserve [guard; protect] me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust [hope; confidence].
2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD [Yahweh; Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God], Thou art my Lord [Master; God]: my goodness [favor; pleasing] extendeth not to thee [i.e., a believer has no goodness apart from the LORD].”
In a world overwhelmed by strife, threats of terror, and hopelessness, we find comfort in the assurance that the LORD never abandons His people! God is a watchman and refuge whom we can trust (Psalm 16:1).
I am unsure what circumstances moved David to express his “delight” in the LORD, but his confidence in Him sustained his joy. David took comfort in knowing the LORD was faithful and his grace sufficient to cover his failings and shortcomings (Psalm 16:2b).
The LORD Our Sufficiency (Psalms 16:5-6)
The Lord was not only David’s refuge; He was all the king needed. David wrote:
Psalm 16:5-6 – “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup…the lines [measure; inheritance; portion] are fallen [divided; allotted] unto me in pleasant [delightful; lovely] places; Yea, I have a goodly [pleasing] heritage [inheritance].”
To be where God is blessing is a blessed place indeed. There are innumerable things for which we should be thankful. Yet, allowing the world to crowd out our joy with its sin and temptations is easy. Sadly, I fear too many realize the blessings of the LORD too late.
Psalm 16 ended with a doxology of praise, and I encourage you to read and meditate on those verses. Notice especially Psalm 16:10.
Psalm 16:10 – “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Peter cited that promise on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:25-28). He confirmed that Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection from the dead fulfilled Psalm 16:10.
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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