Open your Bibles to Psalm 12. Today marks our last Sunday in our series entitled “The Summer of Psalms.” And I could not have planned it better myself, for we are ending as we began, with a focus on the treasure that is the Word of God.
As you saw in your announcements, next week we will begin a new four week series on the Holy Spirit. I must admit that I am looking forward to tonight and the next five weeks as I begin to equip myself by soaking in all of the Biblical text regarding the Holy Spirit. I have yet to devote myself to an extensive study on the Holy Spirit, so I am exited about what the Spirit will reveal to me about Himself. With that said, I would appreciate your prayers and I begin this journey so that I can preach with Biblical accuracy, and not hearsay.
However, today we will finish strong with a fantastic text, Psalm 12. Let us read out text, pray that God would lead us into truth, and then let the Word of God mold us into Christlikeness.
- Psalm 12 – “To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith.a A Psalm of David. 1Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. 2Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. 3May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, 4those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?” 5“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.” 6The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. 7You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. 8On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.“
This Psalm begins like so many Psalms written by David, from the depths of dependence. As we have talked about before, David was a man of faults, a man of failure, a man of sin. However, what distinguished David from others is that he was aware of his desperate need for the Sovereign Power of God. Like for so many artists, his muse in writing these songs was the brokenness of life. In the case of Psalm 12, David Is lamenting the lack of faithful, godly men in the world.
- Psalm 12:1 – “Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.”
For David, the reality of godless men filling the earth caused him to cry out to God for help. Why? Because David new the ramifications of living outside of God's will. He knew the consequences of sin. He had seen it in his own life, adultery, lying, murder. And as he dwelt upon these consequences on a world wide scale he knew that it would lead to only one conclusion...mass suffering. You can see this in verse 5 when David speaks of the plundering of the poor that leads to groaning of those in need.
God had given David the ability to see the dangerousness of sin. He knew that sin wasn't something to be shrugged off or tolerated. He knew the societal poison and pain of disobeying God's Word.
Perhaps many of you can relate to David. As you flip through the channels on TV, watch the news, listen to conversations at work, look at facebook, you see the pervasive sin of the world and it makes your heart ache because you know that pain is on the horizon. You know that living life separated from God produces suffering, therefore when you see the exultation of vileness and your heart mourns.
Perhaps the most pervasive exultation of vileness that we see today is the current sexual revolution. Our society is currently overwhelmed by sensuality, seduction, pornography, adultery, bisexuality, homosexuality, and pologamy. Each one of these acts is a willful and deliberate rejection of God's Word. Not only are these godless acts done and tolerated, but they are celebrated as empowering and liberating. But for those who have eyes like David, we know the truth, these godless acts do not liberate, they enslave. They enslave our society to things like fatherless children, abortions, prostitution, divorces, rape, guilt, depression, and the destruction of families, and ultimately a life of willful rebellion against God, leads to the penalty of eternal death. Romans 1 speaks to this reality.
- Romans 1:26-27 - “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
- Romans 1:32 - “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
So why does the world live lives of such godlessness if it produces so much pain? The easy answer to this is that we are all sinners, that are hearts are desperately sick and wicked, and this would of course be true, but David could not look at the heart of man, so instead he listened to what came out of the heart.
- Psalm 12:2 - “Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.”
Lets pause and ask the question, “What causes the godless to lie?” Yes, we know it is evil treasure in our heart, but why does evil treasure produce lies and deception? I think the answer has to do with who is your father. Listen to what Jesus says to a crowd who had rejected him.
- John 8:44 - “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
This world is very simple. You have one of two fathers: Satan or God. There is no third option or neutral position. For those who reject Christ, their Father is the devil. And whether they recognize this or not, they are a chip off the old block. Their inherent desire is to do Satan's will. The way Paul describes this in Ephesians 2 is that all those who do not believe in Jesus follow Satan and are sons of disobedience.
And at the core of who Satan is that he is a liar. Satan does not stand in the truth, for there is no truth in him. The evil treasure in the heart of Satan is one that is entirely void of any truth. His character is to lie, he is the Father of lies.
We see the true colors of Satan right out of the gates in his first official appearance in Genesis 3. The sole purpose of his interaction with Eve is to trick her by deception, by lies. Perhaps it would be good if we were to look at the Father of lies in action. Turn briefly to Genesis 3.
- Genesis 3:1- “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘Youa shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,b she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
They way by which Satan ushered humanity into his family, and enslave them to sin was through a simple little lie, “You will not surely die.” And it should be noted that the lie of Satan was not spoken alone, but was accompanied by a false promise of pleasure. "you will be like God,” The lie was laced with the sugar of temptation. Satan knew that the lie would not be enough, it had to be accompanied with a promise of something better than what God had provided.
As Eve stood their looking at the fruit, she was lured by the promise of being like God and she took the bait and ate of the fruit. In that moment she doubted God's goodness, and disobeyed his Word. And this is the ageless strategy of Satan, luring man away from his Creator will by promising something better. And for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, they are pawns in Satan's game. They are the mouthpiece of the devil, twisting and distorting the truth, lying, flattering, plundering the weak one word at a time.
When you think about it, the examples of this come easy. Perhaps it is a email that shows up soliciting you to look at pictures and claiming that no one will find out. Perhaps it is a co-worker counseling you to drown your sorrows. Perhaps it is a friend who tells you that “You deserve better in a marriage, and the grass is greener.” Perhaps it is an advertisement that says, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Perhaps it is a phrase “Love is love.” Perhaps it is a social worker who tells you that you are two young to raise a baby. Perhaps it is a boyfriend who tells you that we need to find out if your are compatible and therefore have sex before marriage.
This is the essence of sin. It promises something that never pans out. Yes, perhaps you will have a momentary pleasure, but it is guaranteed to fade and it will eventually manifest into suffering.
This is the state of this world, people have taken the bait and swallowed the lies of Satan. Believing that life will be better outside the will of God, but it never is. Like Eve, our sins put us into a place of shame, separation, division, and brokenness. Our Garden of Eden becomes a field of thorns. David knows this, and prays for God's help. He prays for God to save them from the poisonous lies of this fallen world.
God Will Keep Them
And we see the help of God in verse 5 and 7, “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” and “You or Lord will keep them, you will guard us.” As we have seen time and time again, God hears David's cry for help and He answers. God declares that He will take action and save His people from the suffering that flows from lies of this world. How will He do it? He will place His people on the firm foundation of the Word of God. Nestled in between verse 5 and verse 7 is verse 6.
- Psalm 12:6 - “The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”
And it is the weapon that God gives us to go to battle against the schemes of Satan who is constantly trying to find a foothold and deceive you by dangling a lie and a hollow promise of satisfaction before your eyes.
Psalm 119 is perhaps the most comprehensive chapter in the Bible that speaks to the beauty of God's Word. In verse 11 it says this, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The Psalmist recognized the war that he was in the midst of and he recognized the weakness of his flesh, so in response he equipped himself with the weapon that would lead to victory, the Word of God.
My prayer for this Church is that God would set us and keep us in the safety of His Word. The Word that points to His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Word that shines a light unto our path, the Word that gives us strength to weather the storms of this life, the Word that sustains us and feeds us and sanctifies us.
When you walk out of this building today you will be bombarded with the lies of this World. The question is what will you do about it? Will you be like Adam and Eve, or will you be like the author of Psalm 119. Today I want to end with text from John 6:66. It summarizes my desire for each of you.
- John 6:66 – “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? ”
My hope is that God has chosen you and set you in the Kingdom of his beloved son. A kingdom that honors its King and longs to hear and obey His decrees. My hope is that not reading the Words of Christ is unfathomable to you. My desire is that you don't see the Bible just as a historical document, but a book that gives life.
And I hope that your passion for God's word does not end with you, but spills out onto others that come into contact with you, your spouse, your children, your co-workers, your neighbors. Share with them the pure silver of God's word. Give them the truth that will set them free bondage of Satan's lies. If you don't, who will.