Who Is a Fool?

Biblical Authority Devotional: True Identity, Part 8

by Jeremy Ham on May 10, 2011

Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., explains how the psalmist describes those who reject what is clearly revealed.

The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:2–3)

Today’s big question: who is a fool?

Throughout history, there have been people who denied the existence of God. David, the psalmist, even wrote about atheists when he stated, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1). David started his psalm by determining the atheists are fools.

Similarly, when Paul wrote about unbelievers in his epistle to the Romans, he stated, “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Although there are many who claim to be wise by stating there is no God, they are found to be fools who ignore the truth God has shown them (Romans 1:19).

In today’s passage, David described atheists as “children of men.” As Christians, God is our heavenly Father and we are His children. However, those who reject God would rather trust in the opinions of men than recognize the authority of their Creator. Why would someone reject the authority of God for fallible human beings?

For the “children of men,” placing trust in a false authority is just an excuse because sinful people will make up any story to avoid acknowledging the truth (e.g., evolution is the atheists’ story of origins). David declared that the “children of men” are not seeking God; in fact, they are running away from Him. The psalmist further revealed that “they are in great fear, for God is with the generation of the righteous” (Psalm 14:5). Why would the atheists be fearful if they truly believe there is no God? Sadly, they do have something to fear: the coming judgment day.

Underneath it all, unbelievers know of their guilt (which is why they are “in great fear”), but they do not want to be accountable for their actions. We are all made with a God-given conscience (Romans 2:15), which the atheists so desperately want to ignore. Of course, if we point out this fact to them, they will simply deny their guilt just as they deny that God exists. For many of them, the bitterness expressed toward God and His people betray their claims of unbelief.

As Christians, we too can trust in false authorities. While we do not reject God, we may not want to give up some vice we are clinging to. We probably come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to allow this vice to remain. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, let us strive to put Christ first in every area of our life.

Today’s big idea: despite our sinful nature, we must trust God’s authority rather than man’s opinions.

What to pray: ask God to help you make His truth your foundation.

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.