Help from the True Word | Psalm 12:5–8

          “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.

Last time, we began looking at David’s faithless generation, and its default seems to be lies and deceit.  Since there’s no love of truth, and the truth-speakers seem to have vanished, “On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man” (v. 8).  However, we see at least three truths about Scripture that fills David with confidence.

The Word of God is active.  Verse 5 serves as the hub of the psalm, where God Himself speaks.  He sees the plight of His people and hears their groans.  As such, He “says” (present tense), “I will now arise… I will place [the godly] in the safety for which he longs” (present tense).  This is because “the word of God is living and active” (Hb 4:12)—actively judging people disobeying God’s Word (like oppressing the poor—cf. Dt 15:11) and creates hope for the believer (Hb 6:18).

The Word of God is pure.  As David reflects upon God’s words, we notice the contrast between them and the idle flatteries of the wicked.  He describes a refiner purifying metal—silver.  There’s no dross or impurity in what God speaks—it’s infallible, inerrant, dependable, and precious. 

The Word of God is protective.  Some mistake verse 7 to mean that God keeps and protects only His words.  While He indeed keeps “them” (His words), He does so by fulfilling His promise to care for His children.  In a world where the deceit and wickedness of verse 8 is true, we need to know that God’s Word is trustworthy, that it will protect us, which is what God promises here.

No matter what happens, if you trust in Him, know that Jesus Christ secures an “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pt 1:4–5).  If, however, you continue wagging your tongue like in verses 2 and 4, know that God is “a man of war; the LORD is his name” (Ex 15:3).

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