Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Voices and the Voice

Psalm 12

I. Apostasy Speaks in Many Loud Voices

A. People cease to be godly when faithful examples are unavailable; the hope is in turning to God. “To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” (Psalm 12:1)

B. When people do not live with respect for God, words lose meaning and people twist communication. “They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” (Psalm 12:2)

C. God will destroy people who substitute falsehood for truth. “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:” (Psalm 12:3)

1. Glorious Babylon was convinced of its world view and its right to do with people and resources as it chose, but Providence called a different tune. “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.” (Daniel 4:30-31)

2. Jude in his day warned about evil teachers who would use words for their personal advantage and not in the cause of truth or grace. “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” (Jude 1:16)

D. People who twist truth distort reality and reject God as they do so. “Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” (Psalm 12:4)

E. Truth is personal to God and truth is by definition exclusive. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” (Job 38:1-3)

F. The voices of apostasy bring to mind the thought processes of fools. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

II. The Voice of Pure Truth Exposes Apostasy

A. When apostasy clouds or even hides reality, God enters to assist the helpless. “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.” (Psalm 12:5)

B. God’s voice speaks the purest truth. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)

C. The voices of apostasy are only hot air because they cannot contend with God in the final judgment. “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:7)

III. Tolerating the Voice of Apostasy Compounds the Problem

A. Unchecked wickedness brings the worst people to the surface and such people attract others of their kind. “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” (Psalm 12:8)

B. God brings the problem close to home; controlling conversation is one of life’s most difficult challenges any person encounters. “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:2)

C. Great forces can be controlled with small instruments. “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.” (James 3:3-4)

D. The tongue is more like a spark which can destroy a forest. “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:5-6)

E. The problem of the human condition is nowhere more obvious than in language. “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” (James 3:8-9)

F. The answer to the human condition is always to turn to God for help. “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

Blog Archive