Wretches Like Us

The Hebrew word for “fool” in Psalm 14 literally means one who is morally deficient.  It does not mean one who is an imbecile.  Those who reject God and His authority in their lives are foolish.  They live lives of moral degradation.  They do not honor God with their lives.  They do evil and perpetrate wickedness.  They fly airplanes into buildings.  They set off roadside bombs.  They blow up buildings in Boston.  They have no regard for human life.  We can hear the words of David echo through time into our present-day reality:

All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one. – Psalm 14:3 (NIV)

We are surrounded by wickedness and evil all the time.  I don’t want to put us up on a pedestal, because in many ways we are no better.  We are all capable of great sin and wickedness.  We are filled with anger and hate from time to time.  We allow bitterness to get the best of us and we don’t forgive as we should.  We don’t love others like we should.  We don’t control our tongues as James says to do.  We don’t do everything – word or deed – in the name of the Lord Jesus as Colossians 3:17 says to do.  We are wretches as the song says.  But there is a difference – grace.  God’s wonderful grace covers our sins and forgives our wickedness.  God’s love makes all the difference.  How we live now is to be a response to His love and grace.  We are merciful because God is merciful.  We are forgiving because God has forgiven.  We are full of love and joy and not hatred and bitterness.  We are to be making a difference in this world one life at a time.  We are to show love to everyone.  To those who love us and to those who mistreat us.  To our friends and to our enemies.  To people who worship every Sunday and to those who do not love God.  To all people.  Everywhere.  All the time.  Then people will call on the name of the Lord Jesus – the One who saves.
PRAYER: Father, may my life be lived as a response to grace today. Help me to remember that I once was lost, but now am found. Help me to remember that Your grace saved a wretch like me. May I extend Your love and grace to those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Psalm 14

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 14

For the director of music. Of David.

The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!


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