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Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | October 8, 2018

The Fool (Psalm 14:1). Dr. R.L. Horton

Jesus made clear that calling someone a fool is a serious matter putting the speaker “in danger of hell fire” (Mt. 5:22). The Bible, however, describes a certain group of people with this pejorative label: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Ps. 14:1). In light of Jesus’ declaration, we must give serious consideration to this statement in this psalm.

First consider to whom the name is given: a person who asserts that there is no God. This person is a confirmed atheist. It is not an agnostic, nor necessarily, a young person who is still struggling with ultimate issues. Proverbs adds more details: “…fools despise wisdom and instruction” (1:7), “…fools hate knowledge” (1:22). The fool is not knowledgeable or wise, however he may represent himself to others. An atheist cannot know there is no God. He cannot prove his assertion. There is no evidence for his claim. Yet he maintains it as a settled fact.

And second, the fool is not wrong just intellectually, it is something to which he is committed. He has said it “in his heart.” Solomon pleads with them on this level: “…and you fools, be of an understanding heart” (Pr. 8:5). Instead of loving God, as all of His creatures are called to do, the fool is committed to loving anything except God. He is wrong in his heart, that is in his affections and will. He does not want there to be a God. He does not want anything to do with God. He lives for himself and for this life. He totally ignores the judgment and life that comes after death.

God’s assessment of this person is severe but just.

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