Hello everybody and welcome in to episode 202 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Psalms 11-12 today and our focus is on The Stark Difference Between God and Humanity and God’s Promise to Protect His People. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Quintana Roo, Mexico, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Maharashtra, India, Salzburg, Austria, Parts unknown, Czech Republic and Indonesia, Hamburg, Germany, Phoenix, Arizona, Columbus, Ohio, Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, Florida. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible re ading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
A quick opening note on some of the words used in the introduction to the Psalms, such as the intro to Psalms 12 which says, “For the choir director: according to Sheminith. A psalm of David.” and the intro to Psalms 9, “
For the choir director: according to Muth-labben.” or, “For the choir director: on the Gittith. A psalm of David.” which is Psalm 8, or “A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite.“
All of these terms are ancient Hebrew musical terms, and we don’t really know what they mean at all, so the Hebrew words has basically been transposed. A Gittith is probably a musical instrument, but we don’t know which one. The other terms perhaps denote tones or keys or rhythms, or other things, but it is very unclear. Most of the Psalms are SONGS – meant to be sung, but the ancients didn’t really write down musical notation, so it is hard to know how they were meant to be sung.
In our Psalms today, we see a great contrast between the ways of God and the ways of the world. In Psalm 11, David notes that his refuge is in the Lord, rather than hiding out in the mountains. Why hide out? Because at whatever time this Psalm was written, the wicked were being violent somehow, and attacking those who follow the Lord. But, as David notes, God is watching all of this:
the Lord—his throne is in heaven.
His eyes watch;
his gaze examines everyone.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but he hates the wicked
and those who love violence. Psalm 11:4-5
This is significant because God loves those who do righteous deeds – He will be close to them, and they will know Him, which is what he Hebrew idiom, “see His face,” indicates – an intimate knowledge:
For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see his face. Psalm 11:7
In Psalm 12, David is having an Elijah moment – feeling as if there are no righteous or faithful people left on the earth. Many saints of God have grappled with this feeling – that they alone are pursuing God, and everybody else around them has fallen away, but I believe the answer God gave Elijah is usually true in those situations – that God is always keeping a remnant of those who seek Him. If you feel utterly alone in the faith, it is very likely that there are others near you that feel the same. Ask the Lord to lead you to them! Psalm 12 ends with four powerful verses, four powerful truths that all deserve their own commentary.
- “Because of the devastation of the needy
and the groaning of the poor,
I will now rise up,” says the Lord.
“I will provide safety for the one who longs for it.” Psalm 12:5
Here we see God’s heart for those who are poor and desperate. He is watching. He sees. He cares. He knows. Again, as above, very often when people are going through times of great need, they believe that God doesn’t care – that God is more interested in the rich and famous, etc – but that is not how God works. God hears the groaning of the poor, and He will rise up and provide safety for the one who longs for it. That safety may feel like it is a long time coming, as in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus – when Lazarus suffered a lifetime of health problems and lack of food, but that story shows us that Lazarus will enjoy an eternity – millions of millions lifetimes of comfort and abundance. “Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
- The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in an earthen furnace,
purified seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
As Spurgeon says, “There is no mistake about the words of this blessed Book. The very words themselves are as accurate, as infallible, as silver is pure when it has been seven times refined by the most skilful artist. There is no improving upon God’s words. We dare not leave one of them out. We would not presume to put one of our own side by side with them” C. H. Spurgeon, “Howling Changed to Singing,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 39 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1893), 262.
- You, Lord, will guard us;
you will protect us from this generation forever. Psalm 12:7)
Again, a promise of God’s protection from those who do not seek Him or follow His ways. He is the refuge of the faithful. That does not mean persecution or tribulation won’t happen – indeed, it is a promise of Jesus that those things will happen, “All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” says 2 Timothy 3:12. In this world you will have tribulation, says Jesus in John 16:33 – but we see here that God will forever protect us from this generation. Any persecution and tribulation is finite, transient, temporary – it will end, and His protection is forever.
- The wicked prowl all around,
and what is worthless is exalted by the human race. Psalm 12:8
Not an encouraging truth, but a truth nonetheless. Many, says Jesus, are on the broad road that leads to destruction – many of the wicked are prowling all around. What sort of prowling are they doing? Meeting their own selfish needs and desires. Some will do so violently, others with great subtlety, but the wicked lives to fulfil their desires. Jesus echoes the truth of the last line of this Psalm in His teaching in Luke 16:15, ” “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight,”
With all of that said, let’s read our two Psalms for the day.
Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
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