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.