But perhaps the evidence for God is not clear, one might object. Or perhaps the human being just does not have the capacity for perceiving or understanding the revelation. That will not do, says Paul, for God has made the revelation of himself so clear that it has, in fact, been clearly seen and understood by all, so that they are without excuse for failing to seek God out and then praise and thank him. His words are: "What may be known about God [that is, from nature] is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (vv. 19, 20). According to these verses, the revelation of God in nature is not hidden so that only a highly skilled scientist may find it. It is open and manifest to everyone. A child can see it. There is enough evidence of God in a snowflake, a fingerprint, a flower, a drop of water to lead any honest member of the human race to believe in God and worship him. Every single object in the world shouts "God" to humanity.

The Bible is a big book, but when you think about it there are not many things in the Bible that are said, word for word, more than once. If the words are repeated, it is for emphasis. They are very important. How much more, then, if they are repeated more than once? What if they are found three times? This is the case with Psalm 14. Psalm 14 is repeated almost entirely in the book of Psalms itself. Psalm 53 is a nearly exact duplication. Then the most important part of Psalm 14 is repeated again in Romans 3:10-12. In fact, the great first chapter of Romans is actually an explanation of these words.

At the end of the psalm David has obviously gotten to the point of recovering a sense of God’s presence. He says that he is trusting in the Lord's unfailing love, rejoicing in the Lord's salvation and looking forward to the day when he will again sing to the Lord of his goodness. How did David get to this position? I touched on this when I was giving the outline of this psalm earlier. The turning point was prayer.

When all things seem against us,
To drive us to despair,
We know one gate is open
One ear will hear our prayer.

Yesterday we concluded that the third reason we can feel abandoned is because of dark thoughts and uncontrollable emotions.

Let me make two more points here. First, some people are more prone to morbidity than others, and it is helpful to know this, especially if we are among them. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins his book on depression by saying that "foremost" among all causes of spiritual depression is "temperament."5 Knowing that you are temperamentally inclined to depression may not cure the depression, but it is an important factor to weigh when evaluating your condition.

A second cause of depression, leading to feelings of abandonment, is an extension of the first: a prolonged period in which the blessings of God given in an earlier time seem to have been removed. I think this is what David is talking about in the second line when he asks, "How long will you hide your face from me?" This means more than merely being forgotten by God, which is what the first question addresses. To say that the face of God is shining upon us is a way of saying that God is being favorable to us or blessing us. So, if God is hiding his face, what this must mean is that the times of blessing or favor seem to have ceased.