What does Psalm 14:5 mean?
ESV: There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous.
NIV: But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
NASB: There they are in great dread, For God is with a righteous generation.
CSB: Then they will be filled with dread, for God is with those who are righteous.
NLT: Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him.
KJV: There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
NKJV: There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.
Verse Commentary:
David expresses confidence that the Lord will punish those who deny His existence (Psalm 14:1) and oppress His people (Psalm 14:4). In harmony with other psalmists (Psalm 82:5), he has pointed out the stubborn evil of those who reject God. He has used common Old Testament imagery for those who oppress others through their unspiritual perspectives (Micah 3:1–3).

Though it sometimes seems that wickedness is being left unpunished (Psalm 73:2–3; Habakkuk 1:2–4), God is not being fooled (Hebrews 4:13). David knows that one day (Revelation 19:11–16; 20:11–15), these oppressors will be stricken with the terror of God's holy judgment (Hebrews 10:31). God is on the side of the righteous, and no enemy of the righteous can prevail.

The apostle John notes in 1 John 4:4 that "he who is in [believers] is greater than he who is in the world." Jude writes about those who oppose God and godly truth: "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way" (Jude 1:14–15).
Verse Context:
Psalm 14:4–7 continues the description of the foolish persecutors of God's people. The focus shifts from their evil works to God's judgment and Israel's hope of deliverance. David contemplates the inauguration of the kingdom and Israel's prosperity and joy.
Chapter Summary:
David begins this psalm by describing those who live as if God does not exist as "fools." From God's perspective, the entire human race has become corrupt and estranged from God. Especially heinous are the evildoers who persecute the poor and weak. However, God stands up for the righteous and subjects the wicked to the terror of His judgment. Believers find their protection in the Lord. David concludes with a bright hope: a longing for God's kingdom to arrive. At that time, the Lord will bless Israel with fortunes, and Jacob's descendants will rejoice and be glad.
Chapter Context:
This psalm and Psalm 53 are extremely similar. Romans 3:10–12 quotes from these passages. Like previous psalms, this describes David's enemy as corrupt, ignorant of God, and thoroughly evil. The psalm ends with David's prayer for God to establish the kingdom for Israel.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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