Today’s reading is Psalms 14-16
In our society, the sophisticated, the elite, the well-educated, the successful, the enviable person denies the existence of God. Some deny God’s existence directly and vigorously like Sam Harris. Others might concede that they believe in God or that God may exist, but they live as if he did not.
To those who deny God’s existence everything in life has a natural and naturalistic explanation. So, instead of dealing with spiritual concepts that they believe are bogus, these atheists would tell you to improve your life or get what you want by studying science or psychology or some success formula.
In contrast to the wise of this world who deny the existence of God, the Bible says here in Psalm 14 that it is the fool who “says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” We’ve seen from our studies in Proverbs that being a “fool” is not about lacking intelligence. It is about thinking and living apart from God and his revelation. If you think and act apart from God’s revelation, you will make decisions that appeal to you. These decisions seem like moves toward the things that you really want--success, pleasure, recognition, whatever. But these decisions apart from God will inevitably lead to problems--pain or sorrow or some other sort of problem. Why? Because your internal desires are like a broken compass. They do not point toward true joy or true righteousness; they point toward selfishness. In the words of Psalm 14:2, “They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”
Verses 2-4 describe what the atheist is like from God’s perspective. God has already labeled him a fool in verse 1; these verses that follow verse 1 expand on what God sees when he watches the fool. First, he doesn’t seem anyone who “gets it” on his own (v. 2b); instead, he sees people who increasingly give themselves to sin (v. 3). As the consequences for sin mount, they turn their attention to those who follow the Lord in faith. But, instead of noticing the positive results, the fruit of the Spirit, that God brings into our lives, they attack us (v. 4b). But verses 5-6 remind us that the success of God’s enemies is short-lived. In the end, God will care for us and ultimately, in his justice, vindicate us.
The result of living in faith is joy: “When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!” (v. 7b). So, if you’ve had a tough week, feeling attacked and harassed by a world that does not know God, our weekly worship service is just what you need! It will remind you of God’s ultimate, sovereign control and that God is working for our good in this world and our joy as we glory and delight in him. So let’s come together and worship him this morning in joy! I’ll see you at 10 a.m.