The Pilgrim Path (5-3-2020)
The Pilgrim Path---Psalm 14- Part Two (5--3--20)
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD? There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would shame the plans of the poor, but the LORD is his refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
---v. 1---The Fool---This has nothing to do with IQ. This has everything to do with denying, "God's way" of living. The fool says, "I will live my way." NO God...It is not unusual then, his ways will be what Scripture would define as, "corrupt." From H. C. Leupold: "Atheism bears its proper fruit in rotten conduct."
From P.C. Craigie: "The fool is not a rare sub species within the human race; all human beings are fools apart from the wisdom of God."
---v. 2---The LORD sees ALL: Uh oh---Nobody is "like" Adam--- "before" The Fall ---in the Garden of Eden...As J. I. Packer says, "Anti-God allergy of the soul"---is upon us and within us"---it's called: Sin...Most humbling (take a look at First John 4:19).
---v. 3---They have "all" turned aside---no one is good: From Spurgeon: "...for of all the race of Adam, no unrenewed soul is other than an enemy to God and righteousness." The great Apostle Paul makes these texts a big part of his preaching in Romans chapter three---check it out...Man is absolutely dependent upon God in redemption. He must "cry out" for eyes to "see" and "ears" to hear...
---v. 4---The wicked treat my people like, "a fast-food meal" (THE MESSAGE). From Spurgeon: "The same ignorance which keeps men bondsmen to evil, makes them hate the freeborn sons of God; hence they seek to eat them up "as they eat bread." They not only disdain "grace" over their own food---they show no grace to the people of God in their vile behavior and violent actions.
---v. 5---The God of Glory has a "pay day" coming for these wicked rogues (they know a "dread" of their own beforehand). From Spurgeon: "The most hardened of men have their periods when conscience casts them into a cold sweat of alarm. As cowards are cruel, so all cruel men are at heart cowards. The ghost of past sins is a terrible specter to haunt any man..."
---v. 6---The "Accounts" of the afflicted will be "settled" by the LORD. In many ways, the Lord's people are shamed now. You find the difficulty many of them face when you read an issue of the, "Voice of the Martyrs." The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15), are at odds until the Living Christ returns. Jesus' people don't always appear to be doing so well. The wicked prosper and even cause the Savior's own much pain? Well, remember: Jesus "sees" all---and eternity lasts forever. Some pain for a while---all joy forever---beats hell forever with Jesus' enemies. The LORD will more than settle the score---and then some. Often in this life, He provides incredible consolation for His own---and He never forsakes them.
---v. 7---The salvation "time" needs to arrive! Oh---wait---it will---The LORD will restore ALL His people...Actually this was made real at The Cross of Jesus---at Mount Calvary. The restoration of people from every tribe, tongue and nation---through the blood of the God-Man Jesus Christ. The Savior takes the moral-rebels and makes them "new" by the power of His Blood. He forms a New People with His Law written upon their hearts. Our sanctification is "imperfect" in this life, but He is making us more and more dead to sin and more and more alive to righteousness. Thanks be to God!
Remember this: A young man (Mickey) in my life is very hard to forget. He could pray, "Valley of Vision" prayers (Banner of Truth Publications)---before they were ever in print. The problem was, he was one of the most perverse individuals I was ever around in my life. I heard him "pray" one of those "prayers" in a Royal Ambassadors Assembly ( Southern Baptist Young Men's Discipleship). Typically, I'd hear him on the bus---or in some other venue, and try to get away---using language that would embarrass, as they say, "a Longshoreman." He was a real chameleon. Well, I was home from college one summer and saw Mickey (we'd known each other since about 4th grade). He finally let me know that Christianity was a terrible joke...a real waste. "There is no God," he said. He told me that he had only ever been involved in church--- so he could keep his mother off his back. "That's over now," he said. He told me that it was sad that I was, "throwing my life away." He said, "I can really live now---having the time of my life!" Two years later, my mother said to me in passing, you remember Mickey J.? He died this past week of cardiac arrest...
From Tim & Kathy Keller: Lord, I often struggle with doubts about you, and this psalm makes me realize they don't all come from my intellect and mind---many come from my heart. Part of me doesn't want there to be a God I have to obey. Increase my faith, through your Word and Spirit, and believing friends, "the company of the righteous."
The LORD guide & keep You ALL, Pastor Jason