Monday, January 31, 2022

The Purity of God’s Word (Psalm 12)

The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6).

Psalm 12 most likely refers to a time when David was fleeing from Saul. The circumstances appear extremely difficult because even the faithful have turned away. David’s cry that the godly are no more is reminiscent of Elijah’s complaint that he was the only faithful one left in Israel. Yet, God reassured Elijah that 7,000 still had not bowed their knees to Baal. God did not give that same reassurance to David. Instead He directed him to consider the truth of His promises.

David constructed an insightful comparison in this psalm between the world and God. He focused particularly on the deceit of men contrasted with the truthfulness of God. He said, “Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.” The Hebrew word used here for flattering is chalakoth, which not only denotes flattery but is derived from a word that signifies division. David is emphasizing how men have a doubleness of heart and speak with a forked tongue.

Unlike the deceitful words of men, God’s word is flawless and trustworthy. David makes this apparent by extolling God’s promises: “ ‘Now will I arise,’ says the LORD. ‘I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.’ ” Then David says, “And the words of the LORD are pure words.” He adds support to his faith by emphasizing that we can trust in God’s promises because His word is true.

This may seem obvious, but consider how prone we are to distrust God’s word and to manifest ungodly doubt. Our faith is supported by the assurance that God is not deceitful and whatever He promises in word will be performed in deed. Too often we praise God for His truth when times are easy. But what about when times are difficult? During these times we may not pour forth blasphemies against God, but we might often charge Him with not keeping His word. Calvin said, “There is no truth which is more generally received among men than that God is true; but there are few who frankly give Him credit for this when they are in adversity.”

Therefore, when you are consumed with doubt because of the lies of the world, or the trials in your lives, lift up this shield—that the words of the Lord are pure and we can trust in Him forever.

Read Psalm 119 verses 89, 103, 105, 113–120. List the various ways he describes God’s Word (or Law). How does your attitude toward God’s promises compare with the psalmist’s? Memorize one of these verses to help you meditate on the importance of trusting in God’s Word.