Does God Exist?
THEOLOGY THURSDAY, Lesson 2
Listen to the audio devotional above, and/or read the written lesson below.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. Psalm 14:1
The only reason a person would question the existence of God is because of the sinful corruptions of the flesh we have inherited from fallen Adam (They are corrupt). David declares in this psalm that such folk are fools. Their reasoning and understanding (his heart) emphatically says, “There is no God.”
Some preachers I’ve heard in the past have stated that this verse says, “No, God!” as if the words were meant to show the fool’s defiance to God. The verse is translated correctly in both the ESV and the KJV, not only here, but also in its companion verse, Psalm 53:1. This is not to say these preachers were altogether wrong, mind you. They were only wrong in their attempted translation of the verse. The implication of defiance is certainly there in the verse, as the psalmist further states that these fools “are corrupt” and “do abominable deeds.”
The Puritan theologian, Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), asserts that this verse contains the doctrine of man’s depravity and penchant toward atheism because he is corrupt and abominable in what he does (“sins of commission”), and also he lacks the capacity for even doing good at all (“sins of omission”). Charnock states,
“I. It is a great folly to deny or doubt of the existence of the being of God: or, an atheist is a great fool.
II. Practical atheism is natural to man in his corrupt state….
III. A secret atheism, or a partial atheism, is the spring of all the wicked practices in the world: the disorders of the life spring from the ill disposition of the heart.” —Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God; Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI; 1996; pg. 25
As I mentioned above, while the preachers who have translated the verse from the original Hebrew incorrectly, they are not altogether wrong to suggest a defiance against God. The daily devotional I wrote today, “No Such Thing as True Atheists,” expresses this point. If a person truly didn’t believe in God, the thought of God or a supreme Being would never come to mind. He or she would not have to deny the existence of God so vehemently, and sometimes so violently, if there were no God at all. As you and I believe in God, why would they want to change our thinking and our convictions if God didn’t exist. The betterment of others is something they were born with, inherent in the depths of their DNA, although their flesh is corrupt and opposes the Bible.
It is true that there is evidence of a great and grand Creator through a simple look at the world around us. David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, had also written,
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Psalm 19:1
Moreover, the God-fearing, evil-eschewing calamity-sufferer, Job, rightly presents, in the simple created beings, evidence of God’s existence:
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10
What about man born blind, who had never seen the mountains majesty, the blissful delight of the sun rising or setting in the sky, or the awesome sight of a Coho salmon jumping just off shore of Ninilchik Beach? What of the one born deaf who has not heard the happy whistle of the Alaskan Gray Jay or the cool breeze producing a gentle rustle among July’s fireweed on the Kenai Peninsula?
The God who plainly exists, provided for that when He, in the beginning, created mankind on the sixth day of creation:
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