“The fool says in his heart there is no God. They are corrupt. They do abominable deeds. There’s none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on his 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.”
– Psalm 14:1–3
What a stinging indictment of humanity, including every single one of us. There’s none who does good. They’ve all turned aside. Together they have all become corrupt. And just in case we didn’t get it there in verse three, it says, “Not even one.” The Bible says not one person does good. Now obviously we all do good things at different points, but not one of us, the depth of our hearts is all good. We’ve all turned aside from God. We’ve all turned aside from God’s ways, to our own ways, which leads to that which is not good in all kinds of ways. And this is the state of the human heart apart from God’s grace.
We are all corrupt, but God has shown us great mercy in Christ.
Psalm 14:1–3 Warns Us Of Corruption
Even to the point where we deny God altogether. That’s where this whole chapter starts, “The fool says in his heart this is no God.” We actually have the audacity, as created beings made in the image of God, to deny God altogether. To deny his existence altogether. As if we exist on our own. As if we could ever exist without him and his creating and sustaining power. But notice the connection here too between this confession, “There is no god,” and this corruption, “They are corrupt. There’s no one who does good. There’s no one who seeks God. Together they’ve become corrupt. There’s no one who does good. Not even one.”
When you hear someone say, “Intellectually, I don’t believe there is a God,” always know this, behind that, it’s not just intellectual objection, it is moral corruption. There is turning aside from God in the human heart that leads to all kinds of different sin, manifestations of it, all kinds of different beliefs, and intellectual assertions, even to the point of denying the existence of God altogether, but it all roots back in, “There’s none who does good. There’s non who seek God,” because we’ve all turned away and we’ve become corrupt.
This Verse Asks For God’s Mercy
That just leads us to pray, God, we look to you as men and women who have turned aside from you, who have become corrupt, who have not done good, who have not sought you. And we ask for mercy. God, we need your mercy and we praise you for giving it. We praise you for giving your mercy freely in Jesus. Jesus, we praise you for paying the price for our sin. We praise you for dying on the cross for us so that we could be forgiven of all of our corruption so we could be forgiven of all of our turning aside and all of our rebellion. All glory be to your name, Lord Jesus, for paying the price for our sin.
You alone are good. You alone have always done good. And yet, even though you had no sin and you no corruption and you no turning aside in you, you paid the price for all of us who have. All glory be to your name. And so we pray then, based on your grace toward us, help us to seek you. Based on your grace in us, help us to do that which is good. Help us to stop turning aside. Help us to live in obedience to you. And God, we pray, we pray for friends, family members, who right now say that you don’t even exist, who’s intellectual objections and moral corruption turning aside from you has led to total denial of you.
Psalm 14:1–3 Prays That God Opens Their Eyes To His Grace
God, we pray that you would open their eyes to your grace, your goodness, your mercy, to who you are and how you can redeem them, how you can change their lives by your love for all of eternity. God, we pray for the salvation of atheist and agnostic friends and family members and people groups around the world. We pray for all these people groups in Communist environments, for people who have grown up with the denial of the existence of God. God, please, please, please, we ask, open their eyes to your existence, your power, your love, and your mercy, and your grace in Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.