PSA 12:1 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be,
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
PSA 12:2 They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
PSA 12:3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
The tongue that speaks great things;
PSA 12:4 Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?"
PSA 12:5 "Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise," says the Lord; "I will set him in the safety for which he longs."
Reading Saturday’s Bible reading, I was struck by this line.
The words of the Lord are pure words;
As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
I find it wonderful that I don’t have to think up something to teach you, something no doubt that I would want to be enthralling and captivating and epic. I would fail to find anything like that. You should consider it wonderful that you don’t have to search for the life-changing, epic, inspiring message. For you and I, the pure words from God have been wonderfully preserved in the Bible.
When William Tyndale interpreted the Bible into English it was for the purpose that the common man could read or hear the word of God in his own vernacular. He was strangled and burned at the stake for doing it. His final words were “Open the king of England’s eyes.” His final prayer would become true. There were many like him who understood that the word of God needed to live in the hearts of every man. I believe it was Wycliffe who said to a proud scholar who knew nothing, that someday soon the man at the plow would know more of the scripture than you do.
Psa 12 finishes with the promise of the universal kingdom of holiness and justice.
PSA 12:7 Thou, O Lord, wilt keep them;
Thou wilt preserve him from this generation forever.
PSA 12:8 The wicked strut about on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
Christ has made a righteous kingdom for men, and it is now in the hearts of men of faith, and it will be a universal reality soon enough.
The first (42:1) and the last (52:13) of the four Servant Songs begin with a command to “See.” It is a command to watch Him carry out the work committed to Him by the Father.
ISA 42:1 "Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold [grasp];
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
ISA 42:2 "He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
ISA 42:3 "A bruised reed He will not break,
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
ISA 42:4 "He will not be disheartened or crushed,
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."
The pressures that destroy others will not destroy Him. Rather, the pressure upon Him will reveal His adequate inner resources, the same resources that He will give to us.
We will see in the second Servant Song that Jesus found His strength in the Father.
ISA 49:4ab But I said, "I have toiled in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;
This is the temptation to become disheartened or crushed, but notice what He does.
Isa 49cd Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,
And My reward with My God."
This is faith in the fact that whatever happens in your life, the Lord has provided the way of escape, or way out. Faith waits for God’s solution while being obedient to His will. In this way we understand that nothing we do is in vain (and isn’t that wonderful to know). God will bring meaning to all that we do in obedience of Him, from the small things we do to the great. Like running a marathon, we just take one mile at a time and do not fear the length of the entire race. “Run the race that is set before you.”
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of [the] escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
Can’t you and I do the exact same thing?
The definite article used by Paul “the escape” would narrow the way out to God’s desire for that situation. Hence, faith obeys and looks for God’s solution. This is what our Lord did throughout His ministry.
And, we may note confidently, that to wait, obey, and look for God’s solution would mean that we desire God’s solution more than anything, even quick relief.
Paul writes this line after using the Exodus as an example. All in the Exodus saw the miracles and all of them were given water and food in their miraculous way. None of them were excluded.
1Co10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 1 cor10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1 Co10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
1Co10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
1 Co10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
1 Co10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play."
1 Co10:8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
1Co10:9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
1Co10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
1Co10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1Co10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
1Co10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Paul then warns us not to crave evil, worship idols, try the Lord, or grumble as they did. The wilderness was not easy, but everything was provided for. Read then again vs. 13. Stand firm and wait while you obey, not grumbling, craving evil, or worshipping idols.