Sunday, March 11, 2012

Psalm 14...Only a fool

Once again I fall a couple of days behind. 

Psalm 14 is almost identical to Psalm 53.

I would skip this psalm, not because it isn't worth reading...there is nothing not worth reading in the Bible but just because I am so far behind. However, I can't help but mention at least the very first verse. This verse changed my view point or at least I found very interesting on two points. 

So, here is the verse...
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.(Psalm 14:1 ESV)
The  first part, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" is also referred to in Psalm 10.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;all his thoughts are, "There is no God."(Psalm 10:4, ESV) 
Even demons admit God's existence.

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
(James 2:19 ESV)
The next part of the verse, "...there is none who does good." is later referenced in Romans.

as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”(Romans 3:10-12 ESV)
These verses describe the depravity of man. How utterly sinful we are. Isaiah describes it in even more graphic detail.

We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

(Isaiah 64:6a ESV)
In this verse, is the term "polluted garment." Many other translations use, "filthy rags." These are very "nice" or less offensive terms for what the original Hebrew uses. The Hebrew word used here is "'iddah." Literally translated, that word refers to a used menstrual rag or pad. Gross, right? But very descriptive.

I always thought of the "filthy rags" as being like my dad's old rags that he used to change the oil or wash the car with. But when I looked at the original term, it puts the way God looks at my "good deeds" in a whole different light.

This, however, does not mean that we shouldn't do good works. It just means that if that is what we are counting on saving us, we are sorely mistaken.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.(Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
(James 2:26 ESV)
So, back to the psalm, (1) someone who denies the existence of God is a fool & (2) none of us are good.

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