Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere?

Psalm 12 (A Psalm of David)

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.

Everyone lies to their neighbor;they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips 
and every boastful tongue— those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them from those who malign them.”

And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like gold refined seven times.


One of the big challenges David is facing is the flattery people are giving him in person, and then when he is not looking, gossiping and plotting against him. Since David is such a confrontational figure as he came to take power from King Saul, I'm am sure there are people who are trying to "play it both ways". 

We have all been in that situation right?  Someone says something nice or flattering to us to our face, and then in the next moment with someone else says, "Did you hear about ..." Sometimes we wonder if there is anyone we can really trust in this world. That is why a friend who you can trust implicitly is of infinite value. 

Also, part of the problem was that the poor and needy were being deceived and lied to, so that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

My favorite part of the psalm is when David contrasts man's words, with God's words. He says God's words are flawless.  They have been refined in the crucible of gold and silver.   One thing you can be sure of, God will never lie to you.  God will always speak the truth to you in love.  God is never going to say one thing and do something else.  God's ways are perfect and higher than ours, and never fails to do what he intends to do. 

Here is how famous preacher Charles Spurgeon compares the difference between man and God, 

"What a contrast between the vain words of man, and the pure words of Jehovah. Man's words are yea and nay, but the Lord's promises are yea and amen." 

One of the greatest promises God gave us was through Jesus. When he died on the cross on Good Friday he uttered, "It is finished!"  Jesus' death on the cross accomplished for us our salvation, and we can always trust in the words, "it is finished!"  He will never go back on his word, we can count on it for every situation in our lives.

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