This is a momentous occasion, fam. No, not Valentine’s Day: today we are breaking new ground. For the first time on Chocolate Book, we are cracking open the book of Ecclesiastes.
Here’s another psalm about God’s work in Israel’s history throughout their journey to the Promised Land. And also about God’s work in the lives of repentant fools and merchant sailors, and how he controls the water cycle.
All is well in today’s psalm. The psalmist is glad to praise God with songs and stringed instruments, the wicked are brought to justice, and the righteous prosper while thanking God through worship. Going by Brueggemann’s classification scheme, with which by this time you are certainly well-acquainted, this is a psalm of orientation. As the saying goes, God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.
“The fool has said in his…” Wait a minute. This psalm is the same as Psalm 14!
You may be familiar with Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.” And if you’re familiar with the rest of Psalms and Proverbs, you likely already know that the “fool” in Jewish wisdom literature is not simply an idiot, some slow-witted person with a head full of misconceptions. What separates the fool from a mere ignorant person is his willful stupidity, his unwillingness to learn and his commitment to acting on his misconceptions. The fool’s stupidity is moral and practical; the fool thinks he can do evil and prosper.