Thoughts on Psalms… 12

Thoughts on Psalms… 12

The problem, the hope, the faithfulness… those are three things that will come out of today’s psalm.

Let me explain…

Interested in knowing Why? this series on Psalms…
check out the 1st post
.

Psalm 12

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;

“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

My 3 Thoughts

  1. The Problem: David is sharing his impression that, when he looked around him, it seemed like all semblance of faithfulness had vanished and all he saw around him was lying and insincerity (“double heart”). It’s not easy when it feels like dishonesty and insincerity is the norm.
    • Yet, that’s what it looks like today… We live in a society and in an age where the end apparently justifies the means. In the business world, if that end is larger year-over-year or quarter profits… then lying is justified. In politics, if that end means another term in office or another party majority… then lying is justified and verse 4 is personified… they feel untouchable.
    • …and trust is diminished. People don’t feel that they can trust leaders, and they get the impression that they have to fend for themselves. The structures that should support them and ensure their security really only serve those directly involved. Discontent and insecurity rises.
  2. The Hope: But look what the Lord says. He obviously sees and hears, because he’s aware of the state of the poor and the needy and because of their state… he acts.
    • First of all, I think when we see the words “poor and needy” we think immediately of the homeless or perhaps those in 3rd world countries. The poor and the needy, however, live among us and are some of us, not because we are homeless and living on the street, but because we are experiencing a lack in some area of our life: emotional, financial, social, aspirational, psychological, spiritual, etc.
    • The Lord says that he will place them in the safety for which they long. I don’t know about you, but there is some longing in my life. Areas in which I don’t feel particularly “safe” (sheltered, protected).
  3. The Faithfulness: Verse 7 says “You, O Lord, will keep them.”
    • The commentary in the Bible I was reading from suggested that them, referred to ‘the poor and the needy’ and in the context, I suppose that’s possible.
    • On the other hand, as a bit of a language nerd, the last referent, immediately before the pronoun ‘them’ is the words of the Lord’. For this reason, I think there’s an argument to be made for the verse to be interpreted as the Lord will keep his words and the result of Him keeping His word will be that He will guard us from this generation’. in other words… we will find that safety for which we long.

Food for Thought…

Again and again I keep coming back to this in this series from the psalms… what we see with our eyes does not always reflect the spiritual reality. We may feel like God is distant during a season in our life, it may appear that there’s little value in walking in his ways, but we have two options:

  • Succumb to that hopelessness… the conviction that nothing will change, that we’re on our own and have to fend for ourselves, fingers crossed… or
  • Draw closer to the Lord, discover him more fully through his pure words and trust more fully in him. Choosing to believe rather than to doubt… for isn’t that the meaning of FAITH ?

Thanks for your time today,
Be blessed today and strengthened in the hope that comes from the Lord,
despite what we may see in our day-to-day.

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