Fools say in the heart, “There is no God.” -Psalm 14:1
“A fool says in the heart,” writes the Psalmist, “ ‘There is no God.’ ” I am sympathetic with the fool. Considerations of no God, no justice and no future usually come from an experience of such.
As we witness the atrocities of war, a planet in peril or pressures much closer to home, who hasn’t questioned the reliability of God, the possibilities for justice or the sustainability of the future of the planet?
The Psalmist claims “no one.” There is no one who has not asked such questions. There is no one who has not tossed the proverbial hands in the air in dismay.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.
There is no one who does good,
no, not one.
In hyperbolic language, the poetry howls with exasperation with a world gone mad. The fool represents no mere atheism or agnosticism per se, but a human being perhaps like ourselves who may at times lose faith in goodness, kindness and compassion.
Doubt is one thing, says the Psalmist, even disbelief; but neglect in the face of human and environmental need is a waste of imagination, humanity and heart. The world deserves more, indeed, it longs for it.
In this Eastertide, I am sympathetic with the fool who believes, but doesn’t always see — God is among the company of those who practice humane acts of kindness to friends, neighbors, strangers, even enemies. “I believe, O God, …Help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).”