Summary: A fool is simply someone who acts independently of established authority.
My grandfather’s favorite holiday was April 1. He would spend weeks and sometimes months planning some trick to fool somebody in the family or some friend of his.
Nobody could outdo him in this area.
The one I remember the most was pulled on his youngest daughter-in-law. She was as close to a neat freak as I have ever seen. Everything had to be in place and everything had to be clean.
This was just an invitation for my grandfather to pull a trick on her.
One of the newest tricks at the time was a rubber vomit pad. I’m not sure where my grandfather got it because I had never seen anything like that before.
He went next-door to visit his daughter-in-law and was beginning to cough and complain about how sick he felt. She went to the kitchen to get him a glass of water for his coughing and as soon as she turned her back and got into the kitchen, he pretended like he was throwing up and he put the rubber vomit pad on her table there in the living room.
The daughter-in-law came back, saw the vomit and went hysterical. She grabbed a broom and started chasing my grandfather. He was able to get outside the house and she actually chased him down the street trying to beat him with the broom.
Obviously, my grandfather never tried to pull a prank on his daughter-in-law ever again.
It’s one thing to pull a trick on April Fools’ Day but it’s an altogether different thing being a fool as presented by David in this passage.
A fool is simply someone who acts independently of established authority.
The authority in this context is simply God. A fool is someone who acts and makes decisions apart from God and his established truth.
A fool is someone who challenges God and actually takes the place of God.
The father of all fools is Lucifer. (Isaiah 14:12-15).
One thing needs to be established here. David is not talking about atheists. In David’s day, there was no such thing as an atheist. It is a rather recent development. So, this verse has nothing to do with an atheist.
But it has to do with rebellion against God and doing things our own way.
This rebellion challenges God in at least three different areas.
I. The Authenticity Of God – He Is Real.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”
This fool ignores any evidence that might point to God. It is not so much that they do not believe in God, but they act and make decisions as if God did not exist.
Their whole life is lived apart from the reality of God.
Every decision they make is based upon their knowledge and completely ignores the knowledge of God.
The effect of this is that people live in their own strength and completely disregard the amazing grace of God.
Examine their life and you do not find any aspect of God’s grace. They are trying to do it in their own strength and they are trying to do it to honor themselves. Human strength only goes so far.
“I will be like the most High.”
The problem with this acclamation is that it cannot be accomplished in human strength. When we try to be like God without having the resources of God our life turns into trouble and heartache and disappointment and discouragement.
To be like God is not within the scope of human possibility.
The only way is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is Christ who establishes the true authenticity of God in our life. Apart from Christ, we can never experience this that God has for us to experience.
John the beloved in the book of Revelation writes,
Revelation 4:11 – “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
The joy of my life is bringing pleasure to the God who created me.
II. The Authority of God – He Is Powerful.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
When we come to God’s authority, we need to understand that all authority is contained in God’s authority. There is no authority outside of God.
It is the fool who tries to live a life outside of God’s authority. When we establish our own authority apart from God’s authority, we have the formula for the life of a fool.
To understand the authority of God is to understand the authority to which my life is subjected to. When I begin to understand God as he is revealed to us in the word of God, I begin to appreciate the authority that I have in this world.