Psalm 14 and 50

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In our time together this Sunday we will be spending time in two psalms which describe two different forms that unbelief takes. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” And Psalm 50:19-22 says, “You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. “Mark this, then, you who forget God…”

Psalm 14:1 describes an atheist who has arrived at the conclusion that there is no god at all. We sometimes think of atheism as a modern phenomenon, but David wrote these words 1000 years before Jesus. How should we answer someone who makes the claim that there is no God? Then, in Psalm 50 an even deeper folly is described. In that instance the psalmist is describing someone who says that God exists but who then goes on to live like God doesn’t matter. So, if Psalm 14:1 is describing an atheist then Psalm 50 is describing what we might call a practical atheist.