What does Psalm 14:6 mean?
ESV: You would shame the plans of the poor, but the LORD is his refuge.
NIV: You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.
NASB: You would put to shame the plan of the poor, But the Lord is his refuge.
CSB: You sinners frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the Lord is his refuge.
NLT: The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the Lord will protect his people.
KJV: Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
NKJV: You shame the counsel of the poor, But the Lord is his refuge.
Verse Commentary:
The wicked (Psalm 14:1)—especially those who oppress and take advantage of others (Psalm 14:4; Micah 3:1–11)—may thwart plans made by poorer or weaker people. From an earthly perspective, this can be discouraging (Psalm 73:2–3; Habakkuk 1:2–4). Yet Scripture is clear that God will not allow any evil to go unpunished (Hebrews 3:15–19; 10:31; Revelation 20:11–15).

Here, David refers to God using a Hebrew root word, seen throughout the Psalms (Psalm 46:1; 61:3; 71:7; 94:22; 14:26). This term is machaceh, which most literally means a "shelter." This is a place to which people go for safety in times of danger or disaster. We refer to rooms strengthened against weather as "storm shelters." Facilities for those facing domestic abuse are called "shelters," as well. Believers can take comfort in knowing that God is aware of our suffering and is working to end it for all eternity (Revelation 21:1–5; Psalm 14:7).

During the tribulation period, the Devil and his henchmen will persecute the godly remnant of Israel, but God will defend His people. He will cause the remnant to flee into the wilderness for safety. In the Olivet Discourse Jesus warns righteous Jews to flee to the mountains when the abomination of desolation stands in the Holy Place (Matthew 24:15–16). He says this idolatrous event marks the beginning of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21). Revelation 12 teaches that the Devil will persecute Israel relentlessly during this time, but the Lord will enable His persecuted people to escape to the wilderness. There, He will nourish His people for three and a half years (Revelation 12:13–14).
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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