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Bible Commentaries

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

Psalms 14

Verses 1-7

In the fourteenth Psalm we have a picture of the whole world since Christ’s rejection. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Perhaps he does not say it with his lips; perhaps he would not call himself an atheist, but he acts as though there is no God. Any man is a fool who lives in a world like this as though there is no God. As you look at the Psalm you will see that the words, “there is” are in italics, which means that there is nothing in the original to answer to them. They are added to make the sentence a little clearer. Let us leave them out: “The fool hath said in his heart, No God”-no God for me, no God in my life, no God in my thinking-I am going to have my own way; I am going to do as I please; I am going to have my fling; I am going to live as I want to live! “Fools make a mock at sin” (Proverbs 14:9). I know the world looks on the Christian and says, “Those are the fools-those people who have given up the joys of this world; who have turned away from the good times earth has to offer.” Well, says the Apostle Paul, call us that if you like, “We are fools for Christ’s sake” (1 Corinthians 4:10), and after all, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). The real fool is the man who has no place for God in his life.

“They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” These are the words quoted in the third chapter of the Epistle to the Romans where Paul brings the whole world, as it were, into court and lines them up and says, as it were, “Let me see, bow do you stand? Guilty or not guilty?” He finds them all guilty of sinning against God, and he gives the verdict, “None that doeth good.”-”There is none that understand-eth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:12; Romans 3:11Romans 3:11), and he quotes from this Psalm to sustain that judgment. “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men,” and He says, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Is there any man anywhere, anybody who, following the bent of his natural mind, understands the purpose of his creation and really desires to seek after God? No; He says, there are none. “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy.” What a filthy thing sin is! “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

And then he charges the workers of iniquity with acting as men who are absolutely destitute of common sense: “Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?” Is it because they are utterly stupid that they live as they do? Sin is a terribly stupid thing, for a man knows, if he stops to think, that he cannot escape the consequences of sin. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). What a stupid thing it is to go on sinning against God. No man in his right mind could ever do the things that some ungodly people do. “Who eat up My people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.” You would think that common sense would hold people back from some of the crimes and iniquities they are guilty of, but when sin gets a hold on a man it perverts his judgment.

“There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous,” and He notes all that ungodly men are doing. He notices all the suffering and scorn that the heap upon His people. “When He maketh inquisition for blood, He remembereth them” (Psalms 9:12). Some day He will take matters into His own hands; meantime ungodly men shame “the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.” And then the Psalmist cries, as he yearns for the coming of the Lord Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, to put everything right: “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.” We see Israel going back to the land of Palestine now, but they are going back in unbelief. It is true that it is in fulfillment of prophecy which shows many of them are to be back in their own land before Christ comes, and so they are going back rejecting the Saviour. But some day He will appear, and when He does, the salvation of Israel will come out of Zion. When He came the first time, the Saviour came out of Bethlehem, but in that future day the Word of God, the message of God, is going forth from Mount Zion when God’s King has been set upon His holy hill. And in that day when Christ reigns, who are the men who will have access into His presence, who are the people on whom He will look with complacency? These proud, haughty, careless worldlings who now seem to have things their own way? No; the Lord Jesus has said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Oh, you say, those are the very people who need not expect to inherit much of this earth! If you do not stand up for your own rights and fight for them you do not get very far in this world. But Jesus says, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29), and He is going to rule from the river to the ends of the earth, and those that manifest His spirit and have become partakers of the divine nature are the ones who will reign with Him in that day.

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Bibliographical Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Psalms 14". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. 1914.