Summary: God of Wonders, Pt. 2
THE FOOL (PSALMS 14)
A college student was in a philosophy class, where a class discussion about whether or not God exists was in progress. The professor had the following logic: “Has anyone in this class heard God?” Nobody spoke.
“Has anyone in this class touched God?” Again, nobody spoke.
“Has anyone in this class seen God?” When nobody spoke for the third time, he simply stated, “Then there is no God.”
A student did not like the sound of this at all, and asked for permission to speak. The professor granted it, and the student stood up and asked the following questions of his classmates: “Has anyone in this class heard our professor’s brain?” Silence.
“Has anyone in this class touched our professor’s brain?” Absolute silence.
“Has anyone in this class seen our professor’s brain?” When nobody in the class dared to speak, the student concluded, “Then, according to our professor’s logic, it must be true that our professor has no brain!”
What makes a man a fool, according to the psalms? Is he a fool because his I.Q. and grades are low? Is it because his thinking and speech are slow? Is it because he cannot relate to or work with people or that he has a poor self-esteem or self-image?
People are Liable for Their Foolish Conclusion
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. (Ps 14:1)
A woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer.
As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side... You know what?”
“What dear?” she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.
“I think you’re bad luck, get the heck away from me.”
Man is a fool because he thinks he has no need for his Creator, Caregiver, Counselor and Contributor. The fool, or simply “nabal” in Hebrew without the article (“the”), leaves his mark 18 times in the Hebrew text of the Bible, five times in Psalms, more than any other book, and this is the first mention of a fool in the Psalms. As one suspects, it is also the name of Abigail’s foolish and feeble husband who attempted to confront David’s army (1 Sam 25:25). Abigail fell at David’s feet and said: “May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name-his name is Fool, and folly goes with him” (1 Sam 25:23-25). In the book of Psalms, the major mark of a foolish man is that he denies God’s existence (Ps 14:1, 53:1), reviles or provokes his name, (Ps 74:18) and mocks God – meaning rebuke and shame Him - all day long (Ps 74:22).
The Bible is not surprised or alarmed by the surplus of atheists. It anticipates a world of atheists, people who dispute, deny and doubt God’s existence, those who think the world happens by itself, by chance or by evolution. The fool is one who thinks the world of his ruling, discovery and theory and the worst about His revelation, design and truth. Why is he a fool? Because man, who is so inadequate in knowledge, limited in understanding and shallow in thought has the audacity and the most to say about the things they know least about. How can mortal, finite, lowly and insignificant created human beings understand God, who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent? But the fool, who is fragile in body and proud at heart, rejects revelation, God’s teachings and biblical wisdom.
The Bible is quick to praise man and reward man but is also quick to point to his folly. Whenever Psalms speaks of man’s vulnerability, the psalmist calls him not the regular “man” or “ish” in Hebrew, but “Adam” (v 2), to remind him who he is, where his place is and where he came from – the “dust” of the ground (Gen 2:7). Yes, man is powerful and peerless but he is a mere mortal. Adam is but a breath (Ps 39:5), a vanity or emptiness (Ps 39:11), and alike the beasts that perish (Ps 49:12, 20). Ps 144:4 says that “Adam” is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.
Theologically, the heart of “Adam” is evil from childhood (Gen 8:21). Job says “Adam” (man) is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward (Job 5:7) and that man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). The LORD knows the thoughts of Adam and He knows that they are futile (Ps 94:11). They are liars (Ps 116:11), senseless and without knowledge (Jer 10:14).