Monday, April 13, 2015
Psalm 12:5 “I will now arise,” says the Lord.
Today’s devotional day trip travels through the twelfth Psalm. From the moment I started to read it my mind was captured by the present day reality of what King David wrote. What was true in his day is unfortunately even truer today. My heart cringed at every one of the first few words as I saw in front of me the panoramic view of our current culture’s rebellion against God. Then, when my cynicism was at a peak, these words refreshed my spirit – “I will now arise,” says the Lord.
In that moment I began to evaluate my attitude towards the corruption of the world. How easy it is to become critical and cynical when all around us it seems that godly people are becoming fewer and fewer, and people who are unswervingly faithful to the truth of the Gospel have all but vanished from public view. (Psalm 12:1)
I was also challenged to look deeply into my heart and ask the Holy Spirit to evaluate the integrity of my thoughts and my words. Am I one of the people to whom David refers when he says, “Everyone utter lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.”? Could it be that I have become a working part of a rebellious culture because I have adopted the philosophy of man that justifies lying for the sake of personal gain?
I also spent several moments considering the fear and anger I have allowed to take up residence in my heart and mind because of the current corruption of our culture. I repented of the way I dive headlong into conversations with people who are critical and judgmental of the political and social lawlessness that exist. I discovered that because I have given permission for that spirit to abide in me in relation to culture, I also take those same sinful liberties with the church. It is a very simple step from building prideful positions of spiritual superiority over the people of the world to building those same prideful positions in our relationships with the people of Christ’s church.
O may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.
As I journeyed on, the Holy Spirit presented me with an incredible contrast. It was as if I was looking out over a charred landscape of stumps blackened from a forest fire, yet there, growing up in the middle of it all, was an oasis with lush evergreens, prairie grass and wildflowers surrounded by a wide river which the fires of judgment cannot cross. The contrast was invigorating.
Yes, the world is filled with the blackness of sin, resulting in the plundering of people. (Psalm 12:5) But the Lord has risen and taken action to restore a place of safety. But here is where the metaphor is completed. The oasis of safety is found in the pure words of the Lord. (Psalm 12:6)
The contrast is vivid. The words of the world are lies and flattery and result in judgment. The words of the Lord are pure, and they guard us from this generation of wickedness. (Psalm 12:7) Even though the reality of the world is that the wicked prowl everywhere, and vileness is exalted as good among in our culture (verse 8), the words of the Lord are pure and trustworthy and guards us from it all. While the faithful and godly seem to vanish from the earth, the word of the Lord will never pass away, and will keep our hearts and minds at peace in Christ Jesus.
Thank you, my dear Lord Jesus, for being my spiritual chiropractor today and adjusting my attitudes so the pain of a critical and cynical spirit is relieved. Thank you for arising and meeting the needs of your people with the words of truth that provide an eternal oasis for our souls.