Psalm 14 Pity the Fool

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Questions: What makes a fool? Does God notice? Are any not fools? Will it matter? Click “Read More” to pursue answers in the Psalms.

Lord, speak to me through your Spirit and your Word, your Body and your Blood;
that I might know you as you are, and manifest the image of Christ in this world,
and the world to come. Amen.

Psalms 14:1-7

The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God.

Folly is a fascinating — if slightly touchy — subject. Touchy, in that my co-diablogguer Alan is not what I would call a fool, though he says (at least in his head) there is no God. Fascinating, because “folly” is one of the 2.5 sins of Radical Centrism, and thus central to my philosophy.

My fascination with folly — as I’ve blogged before — dates to around 2002, when we studied Proverbs with Dick Hockett as part of Kingsway Community Church (then known as ‘South Bay Covenant Church’). He defined folly as “denial of God”, and identified it as the root of addictive behavior. I generalized that somewhat to “denial of reality” when I wrote my Radical Centrist Manifesto, an identification that actually makes more sense now that I define ‘divinity as ultimate reality.’

From this perspective, then, a fool is someone denies ultimate reality — including transcendent good — in one way or another, which would explain the character traits described here:

They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.

In other words, it is impossible to do good if we don’t believe in it!

But even if fools ignore God, that doesn’t mean God ignores fools:

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.

What God is looking for is presumably the opposite of folly: understanding that God exists, and seeking Him. Does He find it?

They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

Apparently not, as anyone who’s read Romans might’ve guessed. So, how does God react? Is He dismayed that evil men are running around heedless of Him?

Hardly:

Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge* who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

It is as if God were saying, “You fools! Do you not realize what you are doing to yourselves?” Though they will realize it soon enough:

There were they in great fear: for God [is] in the generation of the righteous.

Here’s the deal: if goodness objectively exists — like gravity — then ultimately those who deny it and try to ignore its effects will be brought crashing back to reality, like Wile E. Coyote. This appears especially true of those who attack the righteous and the poor:

Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD [is] his refuge.

This, ultimately, appears to be the source of David’s hope, and why he cries unto God:

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.

If there is no God, then David and all who strive to be righteous are fools, and the poor have no hope. But if there is a God, then salvation is at hand — if we cry unto the Lord our refuge.

Amen!

Prayer

God, I confess that I am a fool. Save me from my folly. Teach me to fear you. I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.

About the Title:

Today’s title is a tribute to Mr. T., aka “BA” Baracus of The A Team.

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