In my personal Bible studies I am still sloooowly working my way through the Psalms. There is so much to love in those pages that I am taking my time and dwelling on each one. I make detailed notes, which I have been using to write some of these posts. If you followed my old blog, you may have noticed that these jumped about all over the place, and when I moved to WordPress I decided to be a bit more systematic: starting from the beginning of the Psalms and working my way through. I don’t manage to read and reflect on Scripture everyday, but I am working on this as I think it is vital when studying theology not to forget the point – which is to love God with my whole mind as well as my heart, soul and strength. My notes have got a few Psalms ahead of my blogs, so this week I have been looking back at my reflections on Psalm 12.
If I could meet any Bible character to sit down and have a chat, David would be pretty high on my list. He is such an interesting person – a warrior poet, a shepherd king, a messed-up man after God’s own heart. I often find the Psalms resonate with my experiences today, and Psalm 12 is no different.
In this Psalm, David feels isolated, like he is the only person around who is faithful to God (and this is actually quite common for Bible characters – Noah and Elijah, to name a couple, felt similarly isolated in their faith). David feels like he is surrounded by deceitful people, those who boast and flatter, and he wants God to bring truth to the situation.
The Psalm seems to take a jump here, to God speaking up on behalf of the poor and needy – but one thing I’ve realised as I’ve been looking more into issues of social justice is that deceit is a big part of the mechanisms of injustice, whether it is to trick someone into slavery, to cover up a crime or to keep someone trapped in a life they haven’t chosen. God sees all of this and He is a God of justice who will act – often through us – to free the oppressed. He keeps His promises to us, and He will protect those who seek His help.
Sometimes trying to live God’s way is a lonely and isolating experience, especially in a culture that is increasingly at odds with what we believe, but God is always with us and strengthens us to live for Him. Sometimes those around us will deceive us, and sometimes our culture and the media will try to convince us that we are idiots for wanting to believe in God and live a way that honours Him. Instead we need to listen to what God says – primarily in His Word, the Bible, but also through Christian friends and older, wiser people in our churches. Because, as David says, “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace” (v6) – they are true, clear and precious, and He will not lead us astray.
2 thoughts on “The precious words of God”
Hi 🙂 … Do you think we are still as isolated in our faiths as David was? I know i live in a christian community, but even outside that though media/ friends / family any where in the world there are so many places to see/hear God.
As you know like you, I feel passionately about social justice- and just wanted to share this thought: Iv just been reading Love Wins (know not everyone likes it -though not sure what you think ; ) but i really like the way Rob Bell presents the worlds redemption – bringing heaven to earth as the goal for believers. Being with the culture together though brokenness together seeking heaven – doing away with the modern concepts of Hell and evangelism.
Hello Jem! Sorry it’s taken so long to reply to this… I had written a reply when I saw your question a few weeks ago, but for some reason it didn’t post and I haven’t had time to rewrite it since…
I don’t think that we are isolated, I think that it can feel like we are, and that community is something we need to focus on and encourage within churches. When I wrote this post, we had been looking on my course at community and how society has become more individualistic. We are built for community but we need to recognise this need and develop it.
I agree that we can see God everywhere if we are looking for Him, trouble is, most people are too busy to notice.
I haven’t read Love Wins, but I would be interested to. It is always good to read authors we may not agree with to challenge our own thinking and to help us to understand what we do believe. I am sure there are lots of positives to his points of view as well as the negatives we can hear about from other Christian sources.