Read verses 1-3
Q: What is the biblical definition of a “fool”? What is this actually describing?
A: It is someone who stubbornly rejects the highest wisdom of God, which is the fear of God. This is exactly what is being expressed in v.1 by the statement, “There is no God”.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
— Proverbs 1:7
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
— Job 28:28
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.
All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
— Psalm 10:4
Q: What is the tangible proof of someone who does not fear or properly acknowledge God?
A: It is found in the quality of their deeds, their actions.
Q: What does it mean to “have committed abominable deeds”?
A: The Hebrew word for “abomination” carries with it the meaning of something which God abhors, detests and/or loathes. Some of the things God has specified as being an outright abomination to Him are sexual perversion (Lev. 18:22-30; 20:13), idolatry (Dt. 7:25), human sacrifice (Dt. 12:31), conducting one’s business dishonestly (Dt. 25:13-16) and so forth. In this case, where it is further stipulated, “There is no one who does good”, the treatment of others is particularly highlighted.
There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.
— Proverbs 6:16-19
Q: What is the contrast provided in v.2 to what is presented in v.1?
A: God is looking down to see if there are “any who understand”—that is, living according to His Word and ways, but only finding the “corrupt”; He is seeing if there are any “who seek after God” but instead finding the “fool” who maintains, “There is no God”.
Q: What are the chief characteristics in v.3 which are repeated to affirm the spiritual condition of those in v.1?
A: Once again they are described as “corrupt” and none who do “good”.
Q: From what have they “turned aside”?
A: Instead of pursuing God’s Word and ways, they are engaged in a lifestyle of sin and disobedience.
Q: Why do these verses sound so harsh? What might be familiar with how extreme they describe the general spiritual condition on earth?
A: It is very similarly worded to the way God described the extreme condition on the whole earth just prior to the Flood in Noah’s day. This is the spiritual environment preceding the onset of the wrath of God.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
— Genesis 6:5
Application: The world does not produce anyone or anything that will be acceptable to God, but only that which is corrupt and actually rejecting Him. The fruit of this world is not merely unacceptable to God, but detestable and offensive.