Saturday

"You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever." (v. 7)

Psalm 12 Saturday 24 September 2016

Background

One of the things that attracts me to the psalms is the honestof the writer. Whether they are full of joy or sadness, they weartheir heart on their sleeve.

And Psalm 12 is no exception. Right from the first verse we canfeel the despair in the psalmist's voice - you can sense the sadsigh as you read "Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone whois godly".

Like the psalms of the previous days, even in these eight versesthere is a structure or a progression. Verses 1-4 form a lament asthe psalmist bemoans their plight and sets out their complaintbefore God. Verse 5 is a reminder and reassurance of God's presenceand activity - this may have been spoken by a priest or a sanctuaryprophet depending where the psalm was spoken. Then in the finalthree verses  there is an assertion of confidence - God willprotect.

The cause for the psalmist's complaint is lies, but not justfrom the mouth. These lies originate deep within "a double heart",and as such they are harder to combat. The psalmist quotes theliars who say, "With our tongues we will prevail" (v. 4).

Verse 5 of worthy of note. It seems as if God is responding bysaying it is not the lies in themselves that cause me to act, butthe effect that they have on people. In 2013 the Joint PublicIssues Team (of which the Methodist Church is a partner) produced areport: The lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortablemyths about poverty. It exposed some of the most common mythstold about people who are in poverty or in receipt of benefits, andhighlights some of the most abused statistics. The hope was thatthe report would empower Christians to challenge those myths andspeak the truth.


To Ponder

  • The psalms portray a wide range of human emotions before God.Do you find it easier to approach God when you are joyful, sad,angry ….? Why?
  • What is your response when you see people or institutionslying? What do/could you do?
  • Standing up for the poor or standing with the needy can bringthe presence of God into a situation. How can you be an answer toprayer?


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