The Folly of Fools

by David & Stephen Olford

David & Stephen OlfordText: "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

Thought: This Psalm is a dramatic description of a God-rejecting world. David tells us that men who think that they can live without reference to Heaven are "fools." So in every respect this solemn, piece of poetry is an indictment on "The folly of fools." Look first at:

1) The Creed of Fools. "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good" (v.1). Like all human beings, fools have a creed, which is practical atheism, or a denial of the moral government of God in the universe. To belie this creed, an atheist must possess at least one attribute of Deity, and that is omniscience. But since finite man cannot comprehend infinite knowledge, he is nothing less than a fool when he asserts that there is no God. In the last analysis, atheism is not a matter of the mind, but of the heart, and what can we expect of an unregenerate heart than the creed of fools?

2) The Character of Fools. "The Lord looks down from upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seeks God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one" (vv.2-3). The true measure of a man's character is not to be judged by human assessment, but rather by divine evaluation. As God looks down from heaven upon a world that has rejected Him, He sees men and women who are spiritually blind and who are therefore unable to understand eternal truth. He sees individuals who are characterized by moral bankruptcy and who are an offense to their Creator and Redeemer.

3) The Condemnation of Fools. "Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call on the Lord. There they are in great fear…" (v.4, see also vv. 5-7). God expresses amazement that evildoers are not aware of the fact that they shall ultimately merit divine retribution. God must judge the ruthless and the godless who give no thought to the goodness of a beneficent Creator. Often times the atheist is shameless in his attempt to confound the faith of the simple believer and to rob him of his security. However, the Psalmist sees the day when utter fearfulness and hopelessness will come upon those who have never entertained God in their thoughts; when sudden terror will seize them, as they are devouring the righteous. By contrast, how bright the prospect of those who believe that God exists "and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him". (Hebrews 11:6) (Also see Prov. 18:10)

Thrust: "There is a God; it is only the fool who denies it in his heart."

David Olford teaches expository preaching at Union University's
Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, Tennessee

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