Psalm 14 vs 1 & 4 - 5
1 The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 4 Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. 5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. 6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.”
Personally, I do not believe in gravity. No such force exists! It is simply something invented by those people who want to stop me flying. Am I a fool? Of course! And any attempt to prove my point by jumping off a pier and soaring into the sky would confirm it. I would end up swimming not flying since I am, like you subject to gravity. Actually I can’t swim either so I’d probably end up drowning if some kind soul didn’t pull me out and save me from my own foolishness.
Perhaps that’s why David calls fools those who say there is no God and who act on that “faith” by all kinds of evil deeds or by simply cutting him out of their reckoning. I say faith because it is after all a belief unless they can prove beyond all doubt that God really is an invention of the weak needing a crutch. The people David is thinking about particularly believed there is no God and no-one then could hold them to account so they were at liberty to act with impunity. It’s really a godless way of life he has in mind. Fool in that sense says nothing about their intellect.
Well, maybe there is just a word of caution here about that kind of foolishness. No-one should just assume that God is either a figment of the emotionally weak or, should he exist, that he is remote and indifferent about his world, just an irrelevance for people living in it. Atheism for many might be a convenient belief to allow them to pursue their preferred lifestyle but if that “faith” wavers for one moment, if there is any doubt then fear must fill the soul. If God is just, if he holy, if he is present with his people and active in the world he made, then he should be feared. The word poor in the bible doesn’t always describe those without wealth, but quite often humble believing people without power who are generally on the receiving end of abuse, subject to ridicule and counted as an irrelevance, the Lord is their refuge. For all though, both “the fool” and “the poor” he is Lord and God and we meet him either as Saviour or as righteous Judge. There is just no way to avoid him!