A Lament over Widespread Corruption
1For the leader. Of David.
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
Their deeds are loathsome and corrupt;
not one does what is good.a
2The LORD looks down from heaven
upon the children of men,b
To see if even one is wise,
if even one seeks God.c
3All have gone astray;
all alike are perverse.
Not one does what is good,
not even one.d
4Will these evildoers never learn?
They devour my people as they devour bread;e
they do not call upon the LORD.f
5They have good reason, then, to fear;
God is with the company of the just.
6They would crush the hopes of the poor,
but the poor have the LORD as their refuge.
7gOh, that from Zion might come
the salvation of Israel!
Jacob would rejoice, and Israel be glad
when the LORD restores his people!*
* [Psalm 14] The lament (duplicated in Ps 53) depicts the world as consisting of two types of people: “the fool” (equals the wicked, Ps 14:1–3) and “the company of the just” (Ps 14:4–6; also called “my people,” and “the poor”). The wicked persecute the just, but the Psalm expresses the hope that God will punish the wicked and reward the good.
* [14:7] Jacobâ€¦Israelâ€¦his people: the righteous poor are identified with God’s people.