October 25, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 25 October 2016
The moral absolutes of God's revealed Law formed the basis for the godly society in which God’s people lived. Psalm 12 is a cry to the Lord for help when a once godly society in which God’s people abided was declining rapidly. All manner of ungodliness was prevalent in the absence of God’s Word and prayer. Believers found themselves the minority in society and questioned how to live godly in an ungodly society.
Godliness and faithfulness was vanishing as a consequence of the preponderance of “falsehood” spoken “with flattering lips” (vv. 2-3). Godliness was disappearing, society was disintegrating, truth discounted, and sin dominant. In such perilous and treacherous times, David indicated that believers must trust in the promises and protection of God to possess the strength to live in an ungodly era.
The drastic contrast between human speech and the promises of God is that the Lord speaks with “pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times” (Ps 12:6). God’s words are pure and trustworthy. The comparison of God’s words to silver indicates there is no dross of falsehood, which is reinforced by the phrase “refined seven times” (a figure of completeness). God’s Word is pure, unalloyed silver, which indicates the quality of his promises.
God does not speak with falsehood. “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him” (Prov 30:5). Jesus prayed for his disciples to be sanctified “in the truth,” and stated “the truth” is the words of Scripture (John 17:17). Trusting in God will never disappoint the godly because the Lord’s infallible and inerrant Word promises their defense. God’s servants are not exempt from the crucible that removes the dross in their lives (cf. Ps 66:10; Prov 17:3).
David restated his dependence upon God. The psalmist confessed confidently, “You, O Lord, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever” (Ps 12:7). Peace is the disposition of the godly within tumultuous times. David’s lament is brought to a peaceful conclusion. Such peace, of course, is the blessing of knowing and therefore trusting God. Augustine wrote famously, “ . . . you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they can find peace in you” (Confessions 1.1). Pascal wrote similarly,
What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself (Pensées 148 ).
The godly are promised the protection of the Lord from the ungodly society in which they may live. Conversely, the ungodly assume they are not accountable to God, and “vileness is exalted among the sons of men.” The repetition of “sons of men” (Ps 12:1, 8) emphasizes the mortality of the ungodly, in contrast to the hope of the believer in the eternal (covenantal) God.
The psalm concludes with the ungodly still honoring the worthless among men, yet the believer confesses that God is sovereign over the affairs of the world. As believers live in an ungodly society, they are not to follow the majority but to focus their dependence upon God’s Word and prayer as the means to living victoriously. He will set the godly “in the safety for which he longs” and “preserve him” (vv. 5, 8) because the words of the Lord are pure words (v. 6).
P.S. Reminder: the next Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Study will be held on the first Tuesday of the month: 1 November 2016.
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.