Echoes From the Campfire

When trouble strikes close to home, it makes a person see things in a whole new light.”
              –Lou Bradshaw (True North)

    “Happy is the one who is always reverent, but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.”
              –Proverbs 28:14 (HCSB)
This is a hard Psalm.  Who has a chance against God?  The fool doesn’t think He exists, and the rest of the human race is a mess; they don’t seek God, they turn from God.  Some may say they seek God, just look at me on Sunday, but do they know the real august, almighty God?  If we did, don’t you think our actions would change?  Let’s take a quick look at Psalm 14 from the HCSB.

              1 The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.” They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.
              2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise,one who seeks God.
              3 All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt.  There is no one who does good, not even one.
              4 Will evildoers never understand?  They consume My people as they consume bread; they do not call on the Lord.
              5 Then they will be filled with terror, for God is with those who are righteous.
              6 You sinners frustrate the plans of the afflicted, but the Lord is his refuge.
              7 Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come from Zion!  When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people, Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

    This Psalm deals primarily with the “fool;” the person who does not believe that God exists.  There are several words in Scripture for “fool.”  
              “pethi” — a silly ass
              “kesil” — a stupid person
              “ewil”  — an idiot
              “holel” — the complete fool
              “nablul” — impious
              “lets” — the sneerer, the arrogant free-thinker

The NLT states, “only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.”  Look at the news, listen to what people say about God, how they try to take God out of the picture.  You can put any one of those terms and match it with them.  The fool!  But go on in that verse.  It states that the fool is “corrupt.”  In this place it means, “gone putrid.”  Have you ever picked up a rotten apple off the ground?  Yuck–well that is the fool–putrid.
              “their actions are evil” (NLT)
              “their deed are vile” (NIV)
              “they do abominable deeds” (RSV)
    God looks down on the fool, and the whole human race.  Looking, looking for one who is truly seeking Him.  Someone who wants to live righteously.  But all are corrupt.  And the fool especially for he is the one who is in danger of rejecting and scorning God’s Word. (see Romans 1-2)
    The fools, the evildoers are ones who afflict those who do call upon God.  They will one day be filled with terror.  I had to laugh at an interview I saw where a woman said that the “red hat (MAGA) terrified her.”  She doesn’t know the meaning of terror.  When that day arrives, the day of the Lord, there will be real terror on the earth.  Now is the time to seek Him, to take on His robe of righteousness.
    Because of this type of people culture and society is in danger.  If a person does not believe in God all, notice all, have become evil.  They cannot do a good deed, for even if it seems that way it is done with selfish motives or with the approval of the devil.  Someone once said, “Without society, man rots; without God, society rots.”
    John Newton was a miserable person.  His life was despicable:  drunk, filthy language, sexually abusive to women, brutalize slaves–everything about him was foul, but as he writes, “I see no reason why the Lord singled me out for mercy–unless it was to show that with him nothing is impossible.”  And what did he write, those words that even the “fool” recognizes, but will not hearken to.

              “Amazing grace!  how sweet the sound
               That saves a wretch like me!
               I once was lost but now am found,
               Was blind but now I see.”

Ponder this prayer and make it your own:  “Lord, be present in every moment of my life, in every thought, word, and deed.  May I never say, ‘The Lord does not see; the Lord does not know.'” (George O. Wood)