Psalms 14:5 MEANING

Psalm 14:5
(5) There were they.--Literally, there they feared a fear, i.e., terror overtook them. Psalms 53 adds, "which was no fear." The local "there" brings the scene before us as in a picture. We see them there before us, these wicked men; there in the midst of their intrigues, or their exactions, or their pleasures, the hand of God seizes them, and lo! they are struck with fear. We evidently have not here any indication by which to fasten on a particular event. Whether the addition in Psalms 53 gives any is discussed there.

For God is.--For the singular variation in Psalms 53 consult Note on Psalm 14:5 of that psalm. The uneasy sense that, after all, the good have God on their side--this general truth is implied in the phrase "generations of the righteous," even if first employed of faithful Israel--is always a cause of fear to the wicked.

Verse 5. - There were they in great fear. "There" - in the midst of their evil-doing, while they are devouring God's people - a sudden terror seizes on them. Psalm 53:5 adds, "Where no fear was," which seems to imply a panic terror, like that which seized the Syrians when they were besieging Samaria (2 Kings 7:6, 7). For God is in the generation of the righteous. God's people cannot be attacked without provoking him; they ere in him, and he in them; he will assuredly come to their relief.

14:1-7 A description of the depravity of human nature, and the deplorable corruption of a great part of mankind. - The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. The sinner here described is an atheist, one that saith there is no Judge or Governor of the world, no Providence ruling over the affairs of men. He says this in his heart. He cannot satisfy himself that there is none, but wishes there were none, and pleases himself that it is possible there may be none; he is willing to think there is none. This sinner is a fool; he is simple and unwise, and this is evidence of it: he is wicked and profane, and this is the cause. The word of God is a discerner of these thoughts. No man will say, There is no God, till he is so hardened in sin, that it is become his interest that there should be none to call him to an account. The disease of sin has infected the whole race of mankind. They are all gone aside, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Whatever good is in any of the children of men, or is done by them, it is not of themselves, it is God's work in them. They are gone aside from the right way of their duty, the way that leads to happiness, and are turned into the paths of the destroyer. Let us lament the corruption of our nature, and see what need we have of the grace of God: let us not marvel that we are told we must be born again. And we must not rest in any thing short of union with Christ, and a new creation to holiness by his Spirit. The psalmist endeavours to convince sinners of the evil and danger of their way, while they think themselves very wise, and good, and safe. Their wickedness is described. Those that care not for God's people, for God's poor, care not for God himself. People run into all manner of wickedness, because they do not call upon God for his grace. What good can be expected from those that live without prayer? But those that will not fear God, may be made to fear at the shaking of a leaf. All our knowledge of the depravity of human nature should endear to us salvation out of Zion. But in heaven alone shall the whole company of the redeemed rejoice fully, and for evermore. The world is bad; oh that the Messiah would come and change its character! There is universal corruption; oh for the times of reformation! The triumphs of Zion's King will be the joys of Zion's children. The second coming of Christ, finally to do away the dominion of sin and Satan, will be the completing of this salvation, which is the hope, and will be the joy of every Israelite indeed. With this assurance we should comfort ourselves and one another, under the sins of sinners and sufferings of saints.There were they in great fear,.... This, shows that they had some knowledge of God, and consciousness of guilt, which they endeavoured to banish out of their minds by their fears of punishment; and these fears men of the most atheistic principles cannot get rid of. In Psalm 53:5 it is added, "where no fear was": that is, any cause or reason for it: such men are often frightened at their own shadows, afraid to be in the dark alone, as Hobbes the atheist was. The wicked flee when no man pursues, and are chased by the sound of a shaken leaf; see Proverbs 28:1; or where there was no fear of God before their eyes, nor on their hearts, as well as no regard to men; or where before there were perfect peace and security, and no apprehension or dread of any calamity, ruin, and destruction;

for God is in the generation of the righteous, or "of the righteous One" (b); which some understood of Jesus Christ the righteous: and though the age or generation in which he lived was a very wicked one, yet God was with him; as was seen by the doctrines he taught, and the miracles he wrought; and which filled the Jews with panic fears, lest the Romans should come and take away their place and nation: but rather this is to be understood of the generation of the saints, who are righteous through the righteousness of Christ, and have the new man in them, which is created in righteousness and true holiness, and live soberly and righteously; these are sometimes called the generation of the upright, and of the children of God, and of them that seek him, Psalm 112:2; in the midst of these God is, among them he affords his gracious presence, and is with them, for their help and assistance against their enemies: and as this makes them fearless of them, it fills their enemies with dread and terror; see Joshua 2:9. The Targum renders it,

"the Word of the Lord is in the generation of the righteous.''

(b) "justi", Montanus, Gejerus.

Courtesy of Open Bible