Have you ever been impatient with God? Impatience is one of my big problems. I always get into the wrong lane on the toll road. Somebody’s in front of me with all kinds of foreign currency, trying to buy their way through the toll booth. I get in the wrong line at the airport. I say to myself, This line is a good line; it’s going to move. But it doesn’t Somebody’s lost his passport. God is working on my life in this area of impatience.
It’s one thing to be impatient with yourself or with other people. But when you become impatient with God, watch out! “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul?” (vv. 1, 2). Four times David asked, “How long?” We’re so time conscious today, aren’t we? We ahve watches that show us split seconds. But what are you going to do with those split seconds? If we save three minutes by taking a shortcut, what significant thing will we do with the three minutes we have saved?
We are so time conscious. We think God must do what we want Him to do–right now. Well, Abraham had waited for 25 years after God’s promise before Isaac was born. Isaac had to wait 20 years before his children. Jacob had to wait 20 years before he could go back to where he was supposed to be. Joseph had to wait 13 years before he was set free and put on the throne. Moses had a wait of 80 years. That’s a long time. You see, God’s schedule is not the same as ours. Sometimes God waits so that He can do more for us than we expect. Our Lord waited when Lazarus died. But when He came, He brought a greater miracle and received greater glory. The hardest thing to do is to wait on the Lord. But it can be done if you’ll just trust Him and rest on His Word.
When you find the word “fool” in the Psalms or the Proverbs, it does not refer to somebody with a low IQ, somebody who’s not intelligent. The word “fool” in the Bible refers to a person who is morally perverse. Why is he a fool? Because “the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (v. 1). And what’s the result of this? “They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (v. 1). God looks down and says, “Does anybody have a clean heart?” The answer is no.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When people don’t fear God, they don’t have any wisdom, spiritually or otherwise. The fool says, “There is no God,” which is practical atheism. Most of the world today lives by this philosophy of practical atheism: “Oh, there may be a God, but I’m not going to think about Him.” God is not in their thoughts, and consequently, He is not in their lives.
The fool says, “No God.” Those two words “there is” are in italics. That means they were added by the translators to help give meaning to the verse. You can read this: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘No God.'” The fool not only says that there is no God; he also says no to God. That’s a foolish thing to do. When you say no to God, you are telling Him that you know more about life than He does and that you have more authority than He has. When you say no to God, you are actually cutting yourself off from the blessing He wants to give you.
Notice what happens here. “The fool has said in his heart” (v. 1). There’s the heart. In verse 2 God looked down to see if any understood. There’s the mind. “They have all turned aside, . . . there is none who does good, no, not one” (v. 3). There’s the will. Psalm 14:1-3 shows the heart and mind and will possessed by sin. Why? Somebody has said, “No God.” If you want to have a good day, say yes to God. All of God’s promises are “yes” in Jesus Christ (II Cor. 1:20).
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).