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Psalm 12

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, JANUARY 15

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 12

This Psalm opens with a plea of “Help” or “Save”.  This time David is not necessarily asking God to help him or save him from wicked, evil men who would do him harm.  This time David appears to be more concerned for the nation and particularly those who have been horribly taken advantage of (see verse 5).

From David’s perspective it is as if all the good people have vanished.  The word “Godly” in verse one comes from a Hebrew word that refers to a covenant loyalty.  Remember the nation of Israel was in a covenant relationship with God.  The boundaries and requirements of that covenant were established by the Law that God had graciously given them.  Among other things that Law would have required honesty and gracious concern. 

Instead David said everyone was lying to everyone else.  They were flattering each other.  They were being deceitful in their dealings with others.  And they were convinced they could get just about anything done that they wanted done by talking their way through it.  Interestingly enough, James warns us of the possibility of this in the New Testament.  He tells us of the incredible power and influence our words have.  And he warns us to learn to “tame our tongues”

David has a little different approach to the problem.  In verse 3 he tells God to just cut their lips off.  It may be that this is a metaphorical request for God to stop their lying.  Or it may have been a very real request.  The Message version of the Bible translates this as “Slice off their lips and pull their braggart tongues from their mouths”.  How is that for Christian love and concern?

Regardless of what David was asking, his focus soon changes in this Psalm.  In verse 5, he sees God arising to care for and protect the poor and the needy. 

And in contrast, David sees the words of the Lord as very different from those of the unrighteous that we have already considered.  He says God’s words are pure or flawless or clean.  In fact, they are so flawless it is as if they had been refined in the refiner’s fire seven times.  Seven, of course, is the number of perfection or completeness in the Bible.  So God’s words are perfectly or completely pure.

Finally David collects himself and his thoughts.  He comes to the conclusion that God will keep or protect the poor and needy that have been taken advantage of by those who have lied their way into prosperity.

We cannot always trust what men say.  Indeed with some men, we shouldn’t trust anything they say.  But when it comes to the Lord, we can have complete trust and confidence in every word He speaks.  The complete perfection of His words is a solid, trustworthy foundation for our lives.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 11

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 11

As the Psalm opens, we find that, once again, David is in trouble.  From the last several Psalms, it sure seems like David was in trouble a lot.  A whole lot.  We don’t know what the details are behind this particular Psalm but whatever they are it has created a pretty desperate situation.

In verse 1, it seems that folks are telling David he needs to run from the bad guys.  Specifically, they are telling him that he needs to go hide in the mountains someplace so that the wicked can’t find him.  After all, the wicked are shooting at him in verse 2.  And to make matters worse, they are shooting at him in the dark.  In other words, it is impossible for him to tell where the attack is coming from.

But in the very first sentence of this Psalm, David makes the statement that he will not run off to hide in the mountains.  Instead he will find his refuge, his safe place, his protection in the Lord.

Verse 3 poses a most interesting and important question.  “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  The foundations here refer to the rule of Law that civilized society is based on.  Specifically, this would be a reference to the Law God gave His people as the foundation upon which the nation of Israel was to be built.  So, the question is this.  If the wicked and evil people overcome the righteous, if civilization is reduced to anarchy, if there is no enforcement of law what is going to happen to the culture?

I don’t know that our country is there yet.  But there have been times in the last several months that it sure seemed like we were losing the historic foundations of this country.  So, the question David asked is important today?  If the foundations of our culture are destroyed what do we do?

David answered his question in verse 4.  You look to God.  And you know that regardless of how crazy it might be here, He is still on His throne.  He still sees everything that is going on.  And He is still in control.  It doesn’t matter how shaky the foundations of our culture become, His throne is always rock solid.  We can have confidence that He is not shaken.

In verse 5, David realizes that the righteous don’t get a pass.  God tests the righteous.  He examines the righteous for any signs of unrighteousness.  And any unrighteousness will be rooted out and destroyed.  But He also tests the unrighteous and because they are always guilty of wickedness and evil, His judgment is always certain.

Yesterday, we read where David was encouraging God to break the arms of the wicked.  Today, David is calling down fire and brimstone on the wicked.  Because God is righteous, He can only have one response to unrighteousness and that is ultimately annihilation.  Because God is righteous, He can only have one response to righteousness and that is to bring the righteous into personal relationship with Him.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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