My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.
This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.
Let’s read this short Psalm in it’s entirety
To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David. 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.
The Psalmist is bemoaning the loss of the faithful man, the righteous and good man who spoke truth, who could be relied upon to provide wisdom and understanding. He cries out to the Lord for justice, for His justice to prevail upon those who lie, boast and flatter.
These boasters speak of thier ultimate power over everyone, since they boast of prevailing , and even question who is the master over them. Little do they know, they are the slaves to their own deception, they have no power over their own speech. These men are being led by the ring in thier nose to thier destruction
As I think of the New Testament teaching on the tongue, one passage comes to mind.
…And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
James uses the tongue as the ultimate test of perfection in the saint. Imagine, the implication is that the tongue is the greatest of our foes.
…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James continues, stating that the tongue is the master of the man, the ruler of the body that is full of deadly poison. This counsel is for the believer, who has been forgiven of his sins, and provided the Spirit of God to empower godly living. And yet the tongue is a formidable enemy for the saint. How much more so for the poor sinner who is captive to its wiles.
The tongue plunders those who are supposedly weak. The tongue is a destroyer, the enemy of those who are in humble conditions, who are needy and are easily taken advantage of. Great swelling words seek to dominate those who are susceptible to the lies and deceptions of the proud and arrogant, godless man.
Where can we find a man who can be trusted? Where is there any hope of knowing a faithful witness, a brother who will speak faithfully?
The words of the LORD are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
His words are pure.
This purity speaks of an article or material as being unalloyed, such as gold. It is common to think in our modern world of some precious metals as being 99.99% pure. This is a standard that is used within the metals industry. The concept of a percentage of purity was not considered in the Old Testament to this degree. When purity is spoken of, it is to an absolute.
Habakkuk speaks of the Lord’s eyes as being pure
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?
James speaks to us again, informing us that purity is the first characteristic of the wisdom from above.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
His words are pure.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
It seems obvious to me that the words of the wicked draw them to the trap, to a destruction they do not expect, and shall swiftly fall upon them. Those who look to the word of Jesus, find a Brother who is worth listening to, a Friend who speaks the truth, (hard as it is to hear at times!), and a Savior Who is ever present to give direction and encouragement for those very folks who may be under the influence of the boasting liars all about us.
The psalmist closes this psalm, speaking of the wicked prowling about Peter also reminds the believer of an enemy prowling about
1 Peter 5:8 …Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Be sober, be vigilant, be aware of your circumstance and your resources. The Lord has not left us helpless.
It is common knowledge that the lion will devour the weakest of the prey. Do not be fodder for the adversary, by being the weakest of the body of believers. Much strength may be found in the words of God, pure words that are given for our edification and exhortation. For the building up of the saint, to increase our knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
His words are pure. Read them, memorize them, study them, treasure them and work them out in your life. Without them, you will only have one source of information. Let me tell you – that source of information is definitely not pure!
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