1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We welcome you to this broadcast;
3. and we welcome you to this series of messages from the Psalms;
4. and, today, we’re going to look at Psalm 14.
5. It’s going to tell us about the inner working of the heavenly courts.
6. It has been said that those who do not learn from history
7. are doomed to repeat its mistakes.
8. History often repeats itself with amazing precision.
9. In the Bible, we find one repeated event --
10. an event that we do not pay much attention to.
11. What is it?
12. Immediately prior to God’s judgment, perversion increases.
13. Corruption becomes rampant.
14. Heightened hostility toward God becomes prevalent.
15. Of course, there has always been perversion in our world;
16. but, immediately prior to a judgment of God,
17. perversion toward Him reaches a fever pitch.
18. This was the case immediately before the Flood.
19. This was the case immediately before the judgment upon the builders of the tower of Babel.
20. This was the case immediately before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
21. This was the case immediately before the judgment of Pharaoh, who despised God.
22. I can go on and on from history.
23. Could we be living in the time that is immediately prior to the coming judgment?
24. There are some who believe that the Day of Judgment has already begun.
25. If history is any indication,
26. then, the stage is set for the coming judgment.
27. Look around you and see the perversion and the corruption and the hostility toward God.
28. Today, there is hatred toward God’s Son all across the globe.
29. There is rampant corruption among those who even claim to be Christians.
30. People may go to church in times of crisis;
31. but, when the crisis is over, they return to idolatry.
32. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only means for salvation;
33. but it is replaced by many false gospels.
34. If history is an indication,
35. then, full-blown judgment is around the corner;
36. and that makes Psalm 14 a very relevant Psalm for us, today.
37. Again, if you have a Bible, please turn to Psalm 14.
38. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’
39. They are corrupt; their deeds are vile;
40. there is no one who does good.
41. The Lord looks down from Heaven on the sons of men
42. to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
43. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt;
44. there is no one who does good, not even one.
45. Will evildoers never learn --
46. those who devour My people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord?
47. …they are overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
48. You evildoers frustrate the plan of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.
49. Oh, that salvation from Israel would come from Zion!
50. When the Lord restores the fortune of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!”
51. My listening friends, please listen carefully.
52. King David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to peer into the very proceedings of the heavenly courts.
53. David was given this rare privilege to glimpse into the inner sanctum of God’s courts;
54. and he tells us three things.
55. He tells us, in verses 1 to 3 of Psalm 14, about the court’s summons;
56. and, then, he tells us, in verse 4, about the court’s summation.
57. Verses 5 and 6, he describes the judge’s sentences.
58. First, he tells us about the court’s summons.
59. I want you to imagine a courtroom and the judge sitting on a high bench.
60. There, in the dock, is a prisoner.
61. Who is that prisoner?
62. None other than humanity itself.
63. Keep that visual picture in your mind.
64. I want to help you understand what David is trying to tell us here.
65. Here is the human race, sitting in the dock.
66. It stands accused of total depravity.
67. The Scripture says that the height of depravity is the denial that there is a God.
68. My listening friend, please listen carefully.
69. Man’s deepest desire is that there will be no God.
70. That desire in man’s heart is so strong.
71. This desire is so powerful that it turns into a religion.
72. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
73. You cannot understand who the fool is without understanding Who God is.
74. David does not use the name "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" in verse 1 of Psalm 14;
75. but he uses another name for God—"El."
76. You say, “What is so important about that?”
77. Oh, it’s very important.
78. Listen very carefully.
79. Jehovah communicates a different character of God than the name "El."
80. There are people who would like to believe only in one aspect of God’s character,
81. and they want to deny the rest of the character of God.
82. They like to concentrate on the love of God,
83. but they want to ignore the justice of God.
84. They would rather focus on the mercy of God,
85. and ignore the judgment of God;
86. but all of God’s characters go together.
87. They cannot be separated.
88. "Jehovah," in the Old Testament, communicates the covenant-making God.
89. The name, "Jehovah" communicates that He is God our Provider.
90. Jehovah communicates of God, the Giver.
91. It communicates of Jehovah, God our Sustainer.
92. "Jehovah" speaks of God’s generosity.
93. "Jehovah" speaks of God’s graciousness;
94. but "El" represents the God Who revealed Himself in the Bible --
95. the God of moral absolutes,
96. the God of moral standards,
97. the God Who demands something out of us.
98. The choice of the word "El" by the Holy Spirit, here, in this Psalm is very significant.
99. Now, you will understand the description of a fool.
100. A "fool," therefore, includes the atheists;
101. but, not only the atheists,
102. a "fool" includes the agnostic;
103. but, not only the agnostics,
104. a "fool" includes those who are indifferent toward God.
105. The word "fool" includes everyone who worships a God of their own image,
106. everyone who wants a God Who does not change them,
107. everyone who wants a God Who does not challenge them,
108. everyone who wants a God Who does not demand righteousness from them,
109. everyone who wants a God Who does not demand any sacrifice from them,
110. everyone who wants a God Who does not judge immorality,
111. everyone who wants a God Who does not condemn corruption,
112. everyone who wants a God Who does not demand allegiance and loyalty,
113. everyone who wants a God that does not demand to be accepted as the only Truth.
114. All of this comes under the rubric of a fool.
115. Fools come in all shapes and sizes.
116. I even read about the little boy who had atheist parents.
117. He could see the foolishness of their lifestyle;
118. and, one day, he asked his parents a wise question.
119. He said, “Why do we fight against God so much when we do not believe in Him?”
120. I can tell you, that young man is not a fool.
121. Someone said, “It is better to remain silent and be considered a fool,
122. than to open your mouth and remove all doubts.”
123. “The fool says in his heart,” the Bible said, “there is no God.”
124. A literal translation of this would be the following:
125. "the fool is the one who denies the God Who is revealing Himself in His Word."
126. A fool is the one who refuses to accept God’s injunctions.
127. A fool is the one who rejects God’s Messiah.
128. A fool is the one who refuses to submit to God’s moral absolutes.
129. A fool is the one who denies that the only God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
130. A fool is the one who denies that Jesus is the only Way to the Father and the only Way to salvation.
131. Now, that is the biblical definition of a "fool."
132. The word "fool" that is used, here, is the Hebrew word, "nabal."
133. It does not mean stupid.
134. It does not denote intellectual weakness.
135. No one is accusing unbelievers of being dumb or stupid;
136. but the word "nabal" means "moral perversion."
但是“nabal” 一词是指 “道德上的败坏”。
137. Many of those who do not believe in God are brilliant people.
138. They are intellectually brilliant.
139. They are thinking people;
140. but, when it comes to the all-important Truth, they are foolish.
141. There is something else I want you to notice in this verse.
142. All earthly courts would pronounce judgment upon a person that is accused of an action.
143. Earthly courts judge a person for something they did,
144. or, something he said,
145. or, some crime he committed;
146. but only the heavenly court is able to judge a person based on his thoughts.
147. The courts of Heaven are the only place where your thoughts will be judged,
148. where the secrets of the mind and the heart will be judged,
149. because, “the fool said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
150. He did not have to open his mouth.
151. He said it in his heart;
152. and that is why no one will make it to Heaven other than by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
153. Look at verse 2.
154. “For by nature, no one seeks after God.”
155. God looks down from Heaven
156. and He cannot find anyone who by nature seeks after Him.
157. Not a single human being in the universe seeks after Him.
158. My listening friend, I want you to listen very, very carefully, as I’m coming to an end, here.
159. If you are seeking after God right now,
160. it is because God has been seeking after you.
161. You are only responding to Him;
162. so, He says, by nature, no one seeks after God.
因此， 祂说， 按本性，没有一个人寻求神。
163. My listening friend, listen very carefully, as I conclude.
164. Is God calling to you in your heart right now?
165. Perhaps you have heard His voice; but you have hesitated to respond.
166. God loves you and He desires to live in fellowship with you.
167. Decide, today, to follow Him and separate yourself from those who deny Him.
168. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.