A description of the depravity of human nature, and the deplorable corruption of a great part of mankind.
- The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. The sinner here described is an atheist, one that saith there is no Judge or Governor of the world, no Providence ruling over the affairs of men. He says this in his heart. He cannot satisfy himself that there is none, but wishes there were none, and pleases himself that it is possible there may be none; he is willing to think there is none. This sinner is a fool; he is simple and unwise, and this is evidence of it: he is wicked and profane, and this is the cause. The word of God is a discerner of these thoughts. No man will say, There is no God, till he is so hardened in sin, that it is become his interest that there should be none to call him to an account. The disease of sin has infected the whole race of mankind. They are all gone aside, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Whatever good is in any of the children of men, or is done by them, it is not of themselves, it is God's work in them. They are gone aside from the right way of their duty, the way that leads to happiness, and are turned into the paths of the destroyer. Let us lament the corruption of our nature, and see what need we have of the grace of God: let us not marvel that we are told we must be born again. And we must not rest in any thing short of union with Christ, and a new creation to holiness by his Spirit. The psalmist endeavours to convince sinners of the evil and danger of their way, while they think themselves very wise, and good, and safe. Their wickedness is described. Those that care not for God's people, for God's poor, care not for God himself. People run into all manner of wickedness, because they do not call upon God for his grace. What good can be expected from those that live without prayer? But those that will not fear God, may be made to fear at the shaking of a leaf. All our knowledge of the depravity of human nature should endear to us salvation out of Zion. But in heaven alone shall the whole company of the redeemed rejoice fully, and for evermore. The world is bad; oh that the Messiah would come and change its character! There is universal corruption; oh for the times of reformation! The triumphs of Zion's King will be the joys of Zion's children. The second coming of Christ, finally to do away the dominion of sin and Satan, will be the completing of this salvation, which is the hope, and will be the joy of every Israelite indeed. With this assurance we should comfort ourselves and one another, under the sins of sinners and sufferings of saints.
Psalms 14:1-7 . The practical atheism and total and universal depravity of the wicked, with their hatred to the good, are set forth. Yet, as they dread God's judgments when He vindicates His people, the Psalmist prays for His delivering power.
1. Sinners are termed "fools," because they think and act contrary to right reason ( Genesis 34:7 , Joshua 7:15 , Psalms 39:8 , Psalms 74:18 Psalms 74:22 ).
in his heart--to himself ( Genesis 6:12 ).
2. looked--in earnest enquiry.
understand--as opposed to "fool" ( Psalms 14:1 ).
3. filthy--literally, "spoiled," or, "soured," "corrupted" ( Job 15:16 , Romans 3:12 ).
4-6. Their conduct evinces indifference rather than ignorance of God; for when He appears in judgment, they are stricken with great fear.
who eat up my people--to express their beastly fury ( Proverbs 30:14 , Habakkuk 3:14 ). To "call on the Lord" is to worship Him.
7. captivity--denotes any great evil.
Zion--God's abode, from which He revealed His purposes of mercy, as He now does by the Church (compare Psalms 3:4 , 20:2 ), and which He rules and in which He does all other things for the good of His people ( Ephesians 1:22 ).