The LORD our refuge

You shame the counsel of the poor, but the LORD is his refuge.” Psalm xiv:6.

There has indeed been a marked increase in the number of atheists in the world. More and more people declare that “there is no God” with increasing confidence. Their influence is seen all over the world and they dominate every sphere of human activity.

The psalmist, however, suspects the motives of these professions of doubt and disbelief. He knows that anyone who seeks to throw God out of the picture is driven by evil intent. If the ultimate Law Giver and Judge “doesn’t exist,” then there is no way to tell right from wrong. There is no need to fear the consequences of one’s actions. There’s won’t be a judgment or eternal punishment for sin. Men and women, under the delusion of disbelief, can do whatever they want and get away with it. Rejection of all notions of the Divine can lead us to such anarchy and evil.

No wonder then the psalmist declared, “The fool [morally bankrupt person] has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (v 1). Moral corruption is the fruit of voluntary disbelief in God. The psalmist also notes that such ‘fools’ do not pray; they do not seek God’s help. These wicked people are characterized by their disdain for God’s people. This leads them to oppress the faithful (v 4) and to ridicule their simple faith (v 6).

God is not a silent spectator to all this commotion. “The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God” (v 2). He comes down to give company to the poor and oppressed “generation of the righteous.” When the hopes of His people are crushed (NAB) God is their refuge. A literal rendering of verse 6 tells us that the wicked cause the righteous “to stink”–such is the extent of their ridicule and intrigue. “… but the LORD is their refuge.”

The shrill propaganda of the unbelieving crowd might for some time drive God’s people to a corner. But if the elect are faithful in upholding God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will not be put to shame. Salvation for the righteous will proceed from heavenly Zion.