“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
A modern dictionary defines a fool as, “someone who lacks judgment,” or “a deranged person lacking in common powers of understanding.” As a form of illustration, this sentence was used: “You would be a fool to believe what he tells you.” Often, the Christian is portrayed as a fool, and sometimes, belief in God is treated as folly. More commonly, believing God is looked at as foolishness.
When the Christian is facing a trial and chooses to cling to the unshakeable promises of God, instead of the shifting sand of modern science, he is treated like a fool. Or, when determining how to handle a relationship, the child of God clings to the teaching of Scripture, rather than the immorality of the day, he finds that he is looked at as a simpleton or a prude. It has become common place for the one who trusts in the living God to be thought of as the fool.
The Psalmist is giving us a totally different look at folly. He declares it is not the one who believes in, or follows after God, who is the fool, but the one who doesn’t. Essentially, the Psalmist is declaring it is folly not to believe in God. Why is a person being foolish not to believe God? It is foolish not to believe God because He has clearly revealed Himself to man.
Paul wrote, “Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:19). In other words, our own conscience speaks to us of God. We know within ourselves, there is more to life than what we see. The scientific mind can find abundant empirical data to support Paul’s claims. All over the world, and throughout time, man has been driven to look up, realizing there is something bigger than himself; he raises his hands in worship. Not all of this worship is appropriate, or even directed at the true God, but it is evidence of man’s need for worship, because he has been created to cry out to God. Not only has God revealed Himself in man, He has also revealed Himself to man.
The Psalmist sang out; “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
All around us, we see nature speaks to us of God. While science can explain many things about creation, it goes against the basic framework of science to think of design without a designer, or creation without a creator. When looking at the majesty of the sunset, or the miracle of child-birth, the heart of man calls out to worship. Because of what he sees around him, he knows that there must be a God. I heard a man recently declare, “I don’t know if I believe in God, but on that day when I saw the beauty of the ocean waves, I knew there must be something.” God has not left us to guess at who He is and what He is like. While creation calls our hearts to worship, the Word of God tells us who and how. To remove all confusion, God has given His eternal Word. If you are having trouble believing God, don’t be the fool who ignores God, be the one who looks into the pages of God’s Word, to find out what God is really like.
Allow me to share one final thought. It is also foolish not to believe God because of the benefits of believing. The Bible declares that eternal life is given to the one who believes that God sent His Son to redeem man. That, and that alone, is the way to prepare for death. The Bible also declares, the one who believes in the Son of God will see his life transformed as he follows God. Again, empirical data supports these claims. History is filled with people who have put their faith in Christ and found Him to be true to His promises. We don’t have to go far to find these examples; we all know people whose lives were transformed once they began to follow Christ. Instead of taking someone else’s word for it, why not look up, call out to God, then look into the pages of His Word and let Him prove Himself to you.
- There are a lot of places we can go to find definitions. This verse contains God’s definition of a fool. How is the fool defined?
- Why is it folly to not believe in God?
- Why is it folly to say “there is no God”?
- Verses 2-3 are heaven’s estimation of humanity. After reading those verses explain why all people need a savior.