The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

(Psalm 14:1a)

The truth often hurts. Relational absence with God results in nothing but folly. Paul explain this well in his letter to the Romans, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. From what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:18-20). Yet, referring to these people as fools is only the beginning:

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

(Psalm 14:1b-3)

Paul, in his use of this passage (Romans 3:10-12) explains the truth of who we are in relation to a Holy God. Notice the building cascade of truth God allows the reader to see as he looks down upon man: 1) do any understand; 2) do any seek after God; 3) all have turned aside; 4) together they become corrupt; 5) no one does good; 6) not even one. This is who we are, totally corrupt; without God, that is how we would remain. Therefore it is completely understandable that the psalmist would ask:

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord?

(Psalm 14:4)

Yet the truth still remains that all are under sin. So why would they call upon the Lord? It all comes down to whom do you fear: man or God:

There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is his refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

(Psalm 14:5-7)

Pure undeserved grace is the answer. As Psalm 14 unfolds, it is clear that all of humanity is totally corrupt and depraved; that the psalmist yearns for salvation and restoration. The psalmist trusts God, he knows that salvation from Zion is eminent. This is because his heart is filled with grace. David wrote of the people around him, the false pious Judaism of the day. These people were fools for they denied the existence of God. But this fact illustrates grace in its rawest, most pure form. As Spurgeon attests: “Do we not confess that we by nature are corrupt, and do we not bless the sovereign grace which has renewed us in the spirit of our minds, that sin may no more have dominion over us, but that grace may rule and reign?”

Some people just don’t get it.