Psalm 14 | Lord, I Need You
DAVID GOFF | OCTOBER 15, 2020
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of confusing our needs and wants. For me, this seems to happen most often around Black Friday. With so much time spent rummaging online stores for gifts, I inevitably come across something I want and go ahead and buy it. But, do I need an 82” 4k Ultra HD Flat Screen TV that would fit perfectly above my fireplace? Well, probably not.
On the other hand, sometimes we make the opposite mistake by having a legitimate need and doing nothing about it. For instance, what if you just discovered a large hole on your roof. Would it be smart to ignore the issue and let it go? Definitely not. Instead, if you were wise, you would have it repaired before it rains to avoid unnecessary damage.
It’s sad to say, but many people make this same mistake when it comes to having a relationship with God; they do nothing about it. Sure, they may tolerate other people who “believe in God” or “need a boost” to get through life. But, as for them, they have no need for God.
In Psalm 14, we see David focus upon the people of his day who had a similar bent towards God. Through this passage, David illustrates two crucial ways each of us urgently needs God:
We need God’s perspective
In verses 1-3, we see David share God’s perspective on humanity. We read that “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men” (Psalm 14:2). This shows how God is mindful of us individually. But what does God see when he looks at us? As He observes and studies each person, God declares that all have turned away from Him and become corrupt. Meaning they all exhibit moral depravity and perversity. John Calvin says that “every one of them emits an offensive odor.” Here the Psalmist paints a very dismal picture of man’s spiritual condition.
David also goes on to describe a particularly wicked group of sinners he refers to as the fool. The fool first says in his heart that “there is no God.” (14:1a) In rebellion, the fool not only rejects accountability to God - but even dares to deny God’s existence. He not only rejects God intellectually but also rejects God with his lifestyle, which is filled with “abominable works.” (14:1b)
W.S. Plumer, in his commentary on the Psalms, summarized man’s condition with these clarifying words:
Man’s depravity is the clear teaching of him [God], who loves purity, and has searched the earth and found all men very far gone in sin. If their minds were not darkened, they would see the beauty of divine things, and then they would love them.
What an awful indictment of the human race! None of us like to receive negative feedback like this. It doesn’t matter whether it is in the form of a report card or the form of a performance review - it’s hard to hear about ways in which we fall short. Yet, just think of how much more seriously we should take and contemplate a stinging rebuke of the Lord!
For many of us, in our spiritual blindness, we tend to overlook our sins or greatly minimize them. It is so important that we see the need to evaluate ourselves from God’s perspective. And when we do, it should drive us to acknowledge the ways we grossly miss the mark.
Since from God’s perspective, we have all turned away from Him, you might be wondering, is there any hope for me?
We need God’s rescue
In these last three verses, we see that there is hope for rescue - and it’s found in God’s salvation. In verse 7, David cries out, “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!” (14:7) Although David knew that God was an ever-present refuge “with the generation of the righteous” (14:5b) here, he focused on the Messiah’s coming.
Thanks be to God that he revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ! Through Jesus’ perfect life, death on a cross for our sins, and resurrection, He proved Himself worthy to save you and me. And through Jesus’ salvation, we are rescued not only from our ungodly oppressors but also from the sin nature that has corrupted us.
Although we may make the mistake of getting our needs and wants in life confused - we need to see our vital need to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This all begins by evaluating our life from God’s perspective, repenting our sin, and accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation. And “When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people” (14:7b), let all the redeemed rejoice and be glad!
David Goff is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington MI