The World Is Full Of Fools

Psalm 14

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 14

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Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.

 

Jesus said, "The Son of man has come to save people that are lost". (Matthew 18: 11)

Psalm 14

  (This is) a song of David for the music leader.

v1   A man without shame says in his heart, "There is no God".
  Everybody is bad. They are all evil.
  Nobody is doing anything good.

v2   The LORD is looking down from heaven on the sons of man.
  He is looking to see if there is anyone that understands.
  He is looking to see if anyone is looking for God.

v3   But everybody has turned away (from God).
  They have all become evil.
  Nobody does anything that is good.

v4   Will they never learn? They do evil.
  They eat my people (as easily) as they eat bread.
  They never talk to God.

v5   There they were afraid. They were very much afraid.
  This was because God was with the righteous.

v6   They tried to stop the plans of the poor people.
  But the poor people hid in the LORD.

v7   Oh, who will come from Zion and make Israel safe?
  When the LORD makes his people rich and happy again,
  then this is what will happen:
  Jacob will sing and Israel will dance.

Word list

shame ~ what we should feel when we do something bad

Jacob ~ another name for Israel

The story of Psalm 14

David met a man. His name was Nabal. Nabal was a bad man. Nabal would not give help to David. Soon, Nabal died. Nabal is the Hebrew word for 'fool'. There are 2 groups of fools. One does funny things and makes us laugh. The other does bad things, but he does not feel that he did wrong. We say that he feels no shame. This Psalm is about the second group of fools. The full story is in 1 Samuel 25.

What Psalm 14 means

Verse 1: David says that the world is full of Nabals. "Everyone is bad". We often feel like this. There are many bad people in the world. But there are some people that love God. The Bible calls them righteous. See below, after 'Something to do' for what "righteous" means.

Verses 2 4: The LORD is looking on the "sons of man". In Hebrew this means the leaders of the enemies of God. It does not include righteous people. "Eat my people as they eat bread" means that bad men kill righteous people. They do it as easily as they eat a meal. They feel no shame. Note that in Matthew 18: 11 Jesus called himself "the Son of man" but it does not mean the same thing!

Verses 5 6: But God is with his people. When this happens, bad men feel afraid. They feel that God is there. They cannot explain it. They feel as the Egyptians that drowned in the Red Sea. The story is in Exodus 14. The Jews thought that "there" in Psalm 14:5 meant the Red Sea. "Hid in the LORD" means that they believed God. They hoped that he would give them help.

Verse 7: David prays for somebody that will make Israel safe. "Safe" in Hebrew is the word that we get our word Jesus from. God answered David many times. At last God came to earth. He came as Jesus Christ. That is why Christians sing and dance! Believers are the true Israel of God, not the country of Israel.

Something to do

1.  In the Bible read the stories of:

    Nabal. This is in 1 Samuel 25

    The Egyptians in the Red Sea. This is in Exodus 14

2.  Sometimes you may think that there are only bad people in the world. When that happens ask God for Christian friends!

The word RIGHTEOUS

This is a difficult word to understand. In the Bible it means 4 things. The context usually tells us what it means. The context is the verses before and after it in the Bible.

Here are the 4 things that it means:

1.  It tells us about God. It means that he has never done anything that is wrong. He has never broken his own rules. He has always done what is right.

2.  Even though only God is really righteous, he calls his friends righteous. It does not mean that they are good. It means that they have asked God to forgive them. The word "forgive" means "to give away". God gives away all the sin of the people that he forgives to Jesus. Jesus takes it away. This happened when Jesus died on the Cross at Calvary. By some strange way that we cannot understand, Jesus took our sins away. Our sins are the things that we do that are wrong, the things that we do that do not obey God's rules. When Jesus died, he took away the sins of the people that lived before him and that lived after him. That includes us ... if we ask!

3.  The people that God forgives usually try to obey God. They do what he tells them to do. This is also called "being righteous" in the Bible. When they fail, they pray again, "God, forgive me". God will always forgive us when we ask him.

4.  In the Old Testament, the Jews tried to obey the TORAH. This was all the rules in the Old Testament. Most of them were in the first 5 books of the Bible. The Jews called them the Torah. Later, other books like Isaiah and Jeremiah were also called Torah. Jews that kept these rules were called "righteous". This meaning of the word is not important for Christians today. They are righteous for reasons 2 and 3.

Righteous people have what the Bible calls RIGHTEOUSNESS. It means that they have asked God to forgive them. It does not mean that they are very good. It means that they are friends of Jesus, because they have asked him to take away their sin.

 

2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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