David, the second king of Israel and called the “sweet psalmist of Israel” (II Sam. 23:1) penned the majority of the psalms bearing the name “Psalms” in our Bibles. Many of these psalms are Messianic in nature; they speak of Christ and of the spiritual kingdom of Christ. In others, David praises God for His help in times of trouble and despair. All of the psalms provide rich material from which to glean saving truths. In the fourteenth psalm David writes, “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one”. (Psalm 14:2-3). From these two verses we wish to draw some observations.
First, let us consider that the Lord is indeed looking down. This is certainly not the only time David points to the view that God has of man. He also said, “The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men” (Psalm 11:4). And, in Psalm 33:23 he simply said, “The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men”. David’s son, Solomon followed in his footsteps in this understanding. He said, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). It would do us all well to ever keep firmly fixed in our minds that God is looking. We may well hide our actions and certainly our thoughts from our fellowman, but we can never hide them from the God of heaven. The Hebrew writer said, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). In the closing words of the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecc. 12:14).
Secondly, David pointed out that God was interested in His people having “understanding”. In a land in which so much of what is spoken and so much of what is done is based solely on emotion without any real intellectual efforts to understand what the truth is, it would do us well to realize that God demands the use of the intellect; He requires understanding. Jesus underscored the necessity of understanding when He quoted Isaiah, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). Paul said, “be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). It is of utmost importance that we put our intellect to work and not just our emotions if we would desire eternal life in heaven.
Thirdly, God was looking for people that were seeking Him. The use of the word “seek” indicates that specific effort is put forth. God has not left man but man has left God. It is therefore man that must come back to God. Once man has been separated from God by sin (Isa. 59:1-2), he must then be reconciled to God which is done by heeding the gospel of Christ (II Cor. 5:18-21). God has made reconciliation available to us, now it is up to man to seek that reconciliation. Also revealed in this statement about seeking God, is the fact that it is God that we must be seeking. Jeremiah wrote, “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him” (Lam. 3:25). Jesus pointed out clearly that though He was the Son of God, even He did not seek His own will, nor His own glory, but that of the Father in heaven (John 5:30; 8:50).
Fourth and final, consider that God said that “they are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy”. There are two noticeable points of interest and importance found in these words. First, it is important to note that all are found guilty of sin. The apostle Paul spoke of theses verses when he wrote, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:10-11). His argument was that both Jew and Gentile alike were sinful and in need of the salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ, but the point is well made, all have sinned. Later he wrote, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The other important truth noted in this is that they had “gone aside”, they had “become filthy”. They could not have gone aside or become filthy if they were already aside and filthy. John wrote, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). Sin is not something one is born with, it is something that one does. Neither is one guilty of the sins of someone who lived prior to them. Ezekiel said, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezek. 18:20). Learn the truth, seek the Lord and don’t go aside, for God is watching.
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