Psalm 14


This psalm demonstrates the foolishness of the wicked when compared to the faith of the righteous. This psalm is basically the same as Psalm 53, the difference is that the word ‘Elohim’, that is, Lord is used in this psalm, whilst the word ‘Yahweh’, that is, God is used in Psalm 14, in reference to Deity.

Many believe this is a Messianic psalm because a lot of the words recorded here by David are also written in Psalm 53. The first few verses of this psalm are also quoted by the apostle Paul, Romans 3:10-12.


‘For the director of music. Of David.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

This psalm was for the director of music and written by David. Some commentators believe that the ‘director of music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6.

‘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.’ Psalm 14:1-3

The word for ‘fool’ in Hebrew is the word, ‘nabal’, which refers to those who are morally perverted in their thinking, those who have closed their minds to the existence of God and His will, 1 Samuel 25:25.

By saying that ‘there is no God’, they are denying accountability and rejecting God’s moral laws, 1 Samuel 27:1 / John 3:20 / John 12:48 / Romans 14:12.

These are the characteristics of a fool, they are completely blind, and they don’t see or understand God’s truths, Matthew 13:13 / 2 Corinthians 4:4. Their hearts are foolish because of darkness, and their reasoning is useless, Romans 1:21.

As a result of all these things, they have become fools, Romans 1:22 and God washes His hands with them, Romans 1:22 / Romans 1:26 / Romans 1: 28.

David says they have all turned away and become corrupt, Hosea 4:18. In Psalm 53:2, David repeats these words and in Romans 3:10-18 Paul quotes these verses.

Man’s ignorance does not result from a lack of opportunity. Man’s natural tendency is to seek his own interest. His only hope, though, is to seek after God. Today, not many seek after God to know and do His will. If some seek God at all, it is only to obtain some selfish blessing.

‘Turning away’ is a word which means basically, ‘to turn out of the way, to go in the wrong direction.’ They have all ‘gone in the wrong direction’ so far as faith and obedience are concerned.

‘Become corrupt’ means they had a transition from a state of value to a useless, worthless state. ‘There is no one who is good’ means there were none who followed God’s law perfectly, who never sinned.

Fools often wish that God would just leave everyone alone, Genesis 11:5, however, the righteous recognise their need for God, Acts 17:28 / Matthew 5:45. God recognises the righteous because of their good works, but those who don’t do any good, are ungodly because their faith is dead, James 2:17-26.

‘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!’ Psalm 14:4-7

David asks a question here which is often asked by people, do evil people know anything? The answer is yes they do, but they swapped their knowledge of God for a lie, Romans 1:21.

These evildoers don’t look out for their neighbours, they simply devour them, Leviticus 19:18 / Mark 12:31. As it is in many countries today, when a country is controlled by corrupt politicians, then the society they rule over, is overwhelmed with fear.

The good news is that those who are oppressed have God with them as their refuge, Psalm 46:1, the bad news is that the oppressed will be ridiculed by the wicked, John 15:20 / 2 Timothy 3:12.

Notice how David speaks of the Messiah, ‘salvation would come out of Zion’. Jesus was to come out of Zion, the dwelling place of God, Psalm 2:6 / Psalm 110:2 / Isaiah 2:3 / Isaiah 59:20.

Jesus came out of Judea, from among the Jews, Romans 11:26. Jesus certainly was a Jew and salvation to all came through Him, Romans 9:4 / Matthew 13:17.

Addis, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Here is the Messianic hope. The Psalmist anticipates a time when Yahweh will ‘bring back the captivity’ of His people. This expression need mean no more than a radical change for the better in the state of the people. ‘Restore the fortune’ would be an adequate translation’.

In other words, God’s people will be restored after they have suffered, Job 42:10 / Ezekiel 16:53 / Hosea 6:11 / Amos 6:14. Restoring God’s people isn’t speaking about God’s people coming out of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities as some suggest.

It’s referring to a time when God’s people are restored to prosperity after being disciplined by God for their sin, Matthew 21:37. It was Jesus who would deliver us from our biggest captives, which are sin and the devil, Luke 1:68-75 / Luke 4:18 / Ephesians 4:8.

David uses the names of Jacob and Israel here to refer to the people of God, Isaiah 2:3 / Isaiah 41:21 / Isaiah 10:21 / Isaiah 14:1 / Amos 7:2.


When life is good, most of the world only thinks only about the here are now and they forget that everything around them is temporary. The rich man in Jesus’ parable had no interest in the things of God while life was good and he thought he could focus on spiritual things later. As a result, Jesus calls him a fool, Luke 12:16-21.

We may be surrounded by fools who say, ‘there is no God’, but as someone once said, ‘there will be no atheists on Judgment Day’, Philippians 2:9-11 / Romans 14:11.

It truly was a day of gladness and joy when Christ to the world, Luke 2:10 and it certainly will be a day of gladness and joy when Christ returns, Philippians 3:20-21.

Go To Psalm 15


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."