Look Who's Looking!

Bible Book: Psalms  14 : 1-7
Subject: Sovereignty, God's; Omniscience
Series: Psalms - Kirksey

Look who’s looking! The Lord God is looking down upon His creation, as we read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” Elihu correctly states, “For His eyes are on the ways of man, And He sees all his steps” (Job 34:21). The psalmist declares, “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works” (Psalm 33:13-15). Solomon writes in Proverbs 5:21, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He ponders all his paths.” Later, he writes in Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” The Lord through Jeremiah says, “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes” (Jeremiah 16:17). Jeremiah states, “You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 32:19). The writer to the Hebrews concludes, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

David writes in Psalm 14:1-7, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call on the Lord? There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous. You shame the counsel of the poor, But the Lord is his refuge. Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.”

In this psalm, David shares the ultimate triumph of God’s wisdom over man’s foolishness. Allow me to share three things about the Lord from our passage.

I. First, note the scrutiny of the Lord.

David writes in Psalm 14:2, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.” The Lord is a Determiner of the ranking of mankind. We read in Acts 10:34, 35, “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” The phrase "God is no respecter of persons" means that His dealings with a man are not based on outward appearance, position, rank, wealth or nationality. The following passages also present this concept: Deuteronomy 10:17; 16:9; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 34:19; Proverbs 24:23,24; Matthew 22:16; Luke 20:21; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; 6:7,8; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; and 1 Peter 1:17. When someone is a respecter of persons they make allowances for rank or status. Sometimes people get caught up in an artificial system of rank or status. From Luke 16:14-15 we read, “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.’”

Dr. Adam Clarke (1762-1832) comments on “‘The Lord looked down from heaven’—Words spoken after the manner of men. From this glorious eminence God is represented as looking down upon the habitable globe, to see if there were any that did understand that there was a Supreme Being, the governor and judge of men; and, in consequence, seek God for his mercy, support, and defense.”[1]

From Acts 13:16-22 we read, “Then Paul stood up [at Antioch in Pisidia], and motioning with his hand said, ‘Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment. ‘After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’”

We read in 1 Samuel 16:1-13, “Now the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.’ And Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.’ But the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.’ So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ And he said, ‘Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.’ Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all the young men here?’ Then he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.’ So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, ‘Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”

Drs. John F. Walvoord (1910-2002) and Roy B. Zuck (1932-2013) comment, “Knowing that the human race is foolish and corrupt, and that the Lord will destroy such people for their actions, the psalmist longed for the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom on earth.”[2]

They further explain, “A fool believes that there is no God, and leads a corrupt life. These two statements are related. As a practical atheist (i.e., living his life as if there were no God) he is separated from the wisdom revealed in God’s Word. As a result he is corrupt, spoiling whatever he does. His actions are vile, that is, he does abominable things that the Lord hates. Without faith no one can please God, so there are none who do good.”[3]

On Psalm 14:2, they comment, “The psalmist’s evaluation of the human race was based on the Lord’s looking down to examine people (the sons of men). Examples of the Lord’s seeing how wicked the race was include Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) and Sodom (Gen. 18:21). The psalmist pictured the Lord looking to see if anyone had understanding, that is, if any were seeking God. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7). Since the fool refuses to accept this fact, he has no understanding.”[4]

God’s assessment of the entire human race reveals the utter hopelessness of everyone without Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord in Romans 3:9-26, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.’ ‘Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit’; ‘The poison of asps is under their lips’; ‘Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

In 2 Timothy 2:19 we read, “The Lord knows those who are His.” Conversely, the Lord knows those who are not His. Those who are His will go to heaven and those who are not His will go to hell.

II. Second, note the security of the Lord.

From Psalm 14:6 we read, “There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous. You shame the counsel of the poor, But the Lord is his refuge.” The Lord is a Defender of the righteous among mankind. May we express our heart-felt praise in the words of Sir Robert Grant (1779-1838),

O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.[5]

The psalmist exclaims in Psalm 104:1-2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.”

We read in Psalm 62:1-2, 5-6, “Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. . . . My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.”

On Psalm 62:1-2, Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) comments, “At first even the dearest servants of God will find their hearts to shake in time of hazard and extremities, but when they come to work upon their spirits, to bring arguments to lay their hearts, there they get some advantage, that their hearts grow quiet quickly: For that we have notable Text in the example of David, in the 62. Psalm, (saith David there, in the 1 and 2 verses) Truly my soul waiteth upon God, from him cometh my salvation, he only is my Rock and my Salvation, he is my defence, I shall not greatly be moved, as if he begins to exercise Faith, and he sayes, he shall not greatly be moved, as if he should have said, I confess, I cannot say, but that my heart is somewhat stirred, I am somewhat afraid, and I feel some working in my spirit, but I hope I shall not greatly be moved; he falls a working upon his heart more, and considers of his innocencie; and of the mischievous device of the ungodly; How long will ye imagine mischief against a man, ye shall be slain all of you; then again in the 5 verse; . . .”[6]

At the final session of the Christian Life Convention in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 17, 2004, Dr. Stephen F. Olford announced the plans for a Christian Life Convention in October of that year with several speakers and music by Marty Goetz. Maybe you have heard him sing at a Billy Graham Crusade. I remember hearing him sing a Scripture song titled, “He Is My Defense.”[7]

III. Third, note the sovereignty of the Lord.

We read in Psalm 14:7, “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” The Lord is a Deliverer of the redeemed from mankind. We read in Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”

The history of mankind reveals the conflict between those who desire to please God and those who do not. Those who abuse God’s people reject the authority of His Word. Without the Bible there is no objective standard of right and wrong, resulting in anarchy. This was the case at another point in Israel’s history, as we read in Judges 21:25b, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” In an article titled, “The Changing Emphasis in Religion,” Rev. E. G. Howard of Richmond, Indiana, shares the following, “Dr. A. C. Dixon (1854-1925), [former] pastor of Moody Church, Chicago, was for some time a pastor in Boston. In an address delivered there in 1906 he declared: ‘In both religion and ethics New England liberalism has attempted to transform the seat of authority from the will of God as revealed in the Bible to each one’s inner consciousness. Reason has been exalted above revelation and the ethical sense is made the arbiter of right and wrong. The fruit of this is that every man who believes it, has his own standard of religion and morals, which varies with the state of his physical, mental, and moral health.’”[8]

The merciless mistreatment of God’s people will not last forever. Dr. Duane A. Garrett comments in the Holman Concise Bible Commentary, “God sees the folly and vice of those who live as though He did not exist and declares His anger at those who abuse His people. To treat people as objects of plunder is to be a practical atheist and to invite judgment.”[9]

God’s purpose in choosing Abram and delivering him from Ur of the Chaldees, was to make him a deliverer and the father of those who would become deliverers. We read in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” The history of the Jewish people is a series of deliverances, for example, under Moses, God delivered them from Egyptian bondage and later brought out a group of them from the Babylonian Captivity. They were delivered to be deliverers. God sent Jesus Christ, the ultimate deliverer, through the Jewish nation.

Commenting on Psalm 14, Dr. John Phillips (1927-2010) explains, “The emphasis is millennial but the application is universal. The same Saviour who will transform Israel nationally then, can save men individually now. God has a Saviour for sinners.”[10]


Maybe you remember the line from an ad in the 1970s for the Eva Gabor wig, “As Eva [Gabor] says, ‘Be beautiful in my wig darling, You never know who’s looking.’”[11]

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950) known by his pen name, George Orwell, created a fictional character named “Big Brother” in his book titled 1984. Throughout the book you find the statement, “Big Brother is watching you,” and in the 21st Century, it is a reality. If you doubt it, remember the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), and the NSA (National Security Agency), not to mention the DHS (Department of Homeland Security). Thousands of years ago, David wrote about God looking down upon His creation. God does not merely conduct a surface surveillance; He carefully scrutinizes each one of us. He alone knows all of our thoughts, intentions, and motivations. In Psalm 14, David writes in essence, “Look who’s looking!”

[1]Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Old Testament, Database © 2004 WORDsearch Corp.

[2]John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Victor Books: a division of Scripture Press Publications, Inc., 1985), Database ©2003 WORDsearch Corp.



[5]Robert Grant, “O Worship the King,” (1833)

[6]Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, (London: W. Bentley for L. Sadler & R. Beaumont, 1651), 145

[7]Marty Goetz, “He Is My Defense,” Accessed: 07/30/13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxSIAWg3VAY

[8]The Homiletic Review, E. G. Howard, “The Changing Emphasis in Religion,”(New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., Dec. 1910), 60: 6: 431

[9]Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1998, 2010), 221, Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

[10]John Phillips, The John Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring Psalms, Volume One, 113, Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

[11]Accessed: 07/30/13 http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19730714&id=ZR9OAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Ke0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=2677,5802666

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on Amazon.com and WORDsearchbible.com



http://www.webspawner.com/users/franklinlkirksey / fkirksey@bellsouth.net / (251) 626-6210

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