This Psalm focuses on the unceasing surveillance of God on each one of us, whoever we may be or wherever we are. In public places, we often find stickers informing us that we are under surveillance. Surveillance cameras are used to deter people from anti-social elements such as shoplifting or attempting to escape from prison. Even in tight security areas, surveillance cameras fail to keep a vigil on the entire place because of certain blind spots. But for God, there are no blind spots, and His eyes penetrate to see the things lying in the hearts of every person. But, when God keeps vigil on us, we seldom realize that He does so because we can not see Him. God does it quietly because He does not want to keep us under threat, but expects that we will obey Him out of love.
Atheists and Agnostics
The fool says in his heart,Psalms 14:1
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
While God expects people to understand how much He loves them, some people do not even believe in His existence. And some people are unable to reach out to God, even though they distantly believe that there might be a Sovereign Power. Sometimes we search for an object lying just in front of our eyes, but fail to locate it with our preoccupied minds. One cannot see the sun on a rainy day but still, no one concludes that the sun does not exist because we have seen it on a sunny day. We all know that knowledge is power, but with that power, we cannot make heads or tails of the existence of God. It is true in the life of people, who try to seek God with their recently acquired knowledge. While their knowledge makes them scholars in the world, it also makes them ignorant of the existence of God and His plans.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”1 Corinthians 3:18-20
In other words, people are denying God by misusing the same knowledge that He provided them for their survival. God provided king Solomon with adequate knowledge to govern his people. Solomon used that knowledge in managing numerous numbers of wives and concubines. Our worldly desires drive us far away from God, and rather than loving Him, we are afraid of Him (Genesis 3:8-10). The scripture says that fearing God (out of love) is the beginning of our wisdom.
Findings by God
The LORD looks down from heavenPsalms 14:2-3
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.
God does not want to caution people with His presence to deter them from doing evil but silently observes them whether they fear Him out of love and hate doing evil. Even though God finds no one who does good, yet He continues to show them His love by adding grace to it. God waits patiently for people who do not believe in His existence (Atheists) to find Him in His creations and the people who do not know how to reach Him (Agnostics) to feel His love and come to Him. God is near us, and He gives us ample opportunities to find Him (Acts 17:27). We should not think that He is spying on us as He is invisible. God does not spy on us but keeps His eyes on us to give us better counselling. If we love God, we can see Him watching and guiding us.
We can respond to the Word of God in two ways. What is our response to His findings? Do we continue to live with corruption as we realise that God knows everything? Or do we commit ourselves to God to tell Him that we are with Him? If we love God, we will respond to the Word of God in the right way and also to the circumstances we come across in our daily lives. When we truly love our God then even if we come across evil people in our lives, they will only help us identify our vulnerability to sin and keep us away from evil and its temporary pleasure. When we do not love God, it will become a powerful source of our temptation, and we will yield to it. Moreover, based on the impact of the evil sources, we will be judging others as sinners, judging them with the same sin that is lying within us.
A Dreadful God Or A Merciful God
Do all these evildoers know nothing?Psalms 14:4-5
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.
Until we do not understand how much God loves us, we will assume Him to be a dreadful God. The sin within us creates fear in our hearts, and we try to flee away from the presence of God. Jesus, in one of His parables, narrated about a person who did nothing with the talent he received just because of the fear he had of his master. As a result, his master treated him in line with his description of the master and took back the talent. Despite knowing that his master was dreadful, he did not work with the talent given to him. Evildoers never call upon God, but when they feel His presence in the company of the righteous, they are frightened. The presence of God terrifies the evildoers but strengthens the people of God.
A Blessing In Disguise
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,Psalms 14:6
but the LORD is their refuge.
The Psalmist educates the evildoers about the outcome of their evil deeds against the poor. Despite the protection extended by God, evildoers succeed in frustrating the people of God. It does not mean that evildoers are successfully trespassing God’s security zone, but God Himself allows them to come near to His people not to destroy them but to draw them near to Him. Unaware of this truth, the evildoers become proud and invite the wrath of God on them. On the other hand, as the evildoers oppress the poor, the poor seek God for protection and deliverance, and God draws near to them to accomplish His purpose in their lives.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!`Psalms 14:7
When the LORD restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
The evildoers become arrogant and keep on destroying the righteous and the poor. The more they ruin the poor, the more they gain confidence, and they never think about God and His righteousness. On the contrary, righteous people, even in their difficult situations, trust God and hope for a better life. David was thinking about the day of restoration, and he foresees the joy that awaits him. When we think about deliverance, we only focus on regaining our worldly misfortunes. Even in the book of Job, we read that God restored the fortunes of Job in double measure.
Salvation is about our souls and not about our temporary fortunes. We should humble ourselves before God so that we can understand what our soul needs. Our hearts and soul need to be renewed daily as our flesh grow old (2 Corinthians 4:16). Then, God will restore our lives and give us eternal life to be with Him in His Kingdom forever.
God, Your constant surveillance attributes you with the name “El Roi” (the one who sees). Only once have you been addressed as El Roi in the entire Scriptures, but we find you as “El Roi” in every nanosecond of our lives. Thank you for watching us and leading us. Sustain us in the salvation you provided till we meet you again.