Psalm 14

Psalm 14: poor in spirit

Psalm 14
For the director of music. Of David.

(1) The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

(2) The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
(3) All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

(4) Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the LORD.
(5) But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
(6) You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.

(7) Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Psalm 14 is titled, The Fool Says, There is No God (ESV); The Unbelieving Fool (ICB); Folly of the Godless, and God’s Final Triumph (NKJV); and Folly and Wickedness of Men (NASB).

David’s psalms are like journaled prayers. And in this particular psalm, David is frustrated and angry.

He is so frustrated that he claims there is no one good left in the world. There is no one left who loves the Lord. His poem turns back around though- like it usually does- to the goodness and faithfulness of God despite the evil all around him. A journaled prayer.

This particular psalm could have been written at any point in David’s life, but especially when he was young and in Saul’s court. David and the Jewish people had peace at times later on in his life, but to a king like David, peace is probably not what we would call peace. A king’s life was surely filled with stress and worry and self-doubt. For David especially. During the fifteen-ish years before he was crowned king, David was in and out of Saul’s favor.

The Hebrew word for fool in this psalm is “nabal.” Do you remember that name from another Old Testament story?

The story is found in 1 Samuel 25: Nabal was a wealthy man who disrespected and dishonored a young David and his well-known fighting soldiers. During those times, an act such as this could get all males (regardless of age) killed and all females, animals, and goods carried off as plunder. Not an uncommon thing to happen in the ancient world. In the first book of Samuel, this very thing was moments from happening while Nabal partied away the evening oblivious to what was rounding the corner behind him.

Nabal was a fool. Did David choose the word “nabal” in reference to that man in this psalm? Maybe.

When David claims, “fools say there is no God,” he is not referring to people who struggle to understand God, who battle with doubts, as many of us have in our lives. And for sure he didn’t mean those who never have the ability to love and accept God into their lives because of emotional of mental difficulties.

David refers to the “fool” who chooses to disregard God out of selfishness, conceit, and pride. The “I am my own god” attitude. Those are the fools,

The fool says in his heart, "there is no God."
Psalm 14:1a

The fool doesn’t just say “I’ve got myself; I’m good” in his head, but he says it in his heart too. What an empty place that must be.

This is an interesting idea when we love someone who doesn’t believe. Right? The mind and the heart.

I once saw a debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham, a Creationist professor, two polar opposites when it comes to God, creation, evolution, and science. After watching that, I came to realize that Bill Nye will never be persuaded that there is a God with his head. In his head, he has the world all figured out. During the debate, there were times when Ken Ham tried to reach Bill’s heart. But how does one get past a mind that has decided already?

Do you know someone who has reasoned away God with their mind?

All is not lost, reach the heart.

Let the preacher aim at the heart, and preach the all-conquering love of Jesus, and he will by God’s grace win more doubters to the faith of the gospel than any hundreds of the best reasoners who only direct their arguments to the head.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

My friends, love wins over the heart. A servants attitude. The fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.

Do you have an unbelieving loved one? Jesus is the best example we’ve ever been given on what to do . . . love them, serve them, walk with them through life’s ups and downs.

God wants head and heart, of course. He sent Jesus to reach our hearts.

David goes on to speak of his people- the poor- as he referred to others as the “fool.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen David refer to the Lord’s people as the “poor.” In the New Testament, we often see the description “the poor in spirit.”

What does it mean?

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:3

"Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word."
Isiaih 66:2

"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been," saith the Lord: "But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
Isaiah 66:2 KJV

Looking to his disciples, he [Jesus] said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Luke 6:20

Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Proverbs 22:4

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

The above verses are all about the “poor” or the “poor in spirit.”

Poor (Bible synonyms): contrite spirit, crushed spirit, brokenhearted, humility, fear of the Lord.

My synonyms: the one who falls short, the sinner, the one who knows they are lost without Jesus, the humble, the servant at heart.

Poverty is not only a physical issue but also a spiritual condition. A condition of the heart that requires daily dependence upon our Creator. We cannot walk this road of life without Him. People try. People try to fill that condition of the heart with other things, earthly thing. Things that bring more heartache and suffering.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20 NKJV

Are you poor in spirit today? Does your heart need a Savior?

Choose in your heart today to love the Lord. Let that mind of ours do its own thing. Just give your heart to Jesus through a humble and broken spirit.

And let the rest go. He is trustworthy. He is capable. And He loves you.

Father in heaven, our spirits are broken today. We are broken by the news and the state of our world. We are broken and relying upon you financially, and we are broken by worry and fear. We give this all to you Father. There is nothing in this world that surprises you, that you have not seen before, or that you cannot handle. We know you will turn this trial into good. Heal this land, protect our loved ones, and strengthen your church. Amen.

Heidi xoxo

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