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Old 05-23-2008, 08:17 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 462
Default Psalm 12 - contrast - God's word with lips of men

Hi Folks,

Above we we were discussing the harmony of the promise of scripture preservation in Psalm 12 with the consistent theme within the Bible.

Also very helpful is to discuss verse 7 within the Psalm chapter. So much is written about the context of verse 7, often only referring to one or two verses earlier. This can be sound, however it is also very helpful to read and consider the full Psalm.

Notice that Psalm 12 seven times refers to the false lips of the children of men. And then, after speaking of God's judgment against the vain and prideful lips of the children of men, the psalmist shows the contrast with the purified as silver words of the LORD !

Psalm 12
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth;
for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour:
with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips,
and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail;
our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
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.
The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The wicked walk on every side,
when the vilest men are exalted.

The full context of the chapter is clear in the contrast of the pure words of God with the vain proud, flattering lips of vile men - the principle theme of the Psalm. And God supplies his pure words to the remnant, the 'godly man' (v.1) words to lift the 'poor and needy' (v.5), words that his servants love. (Psalm 119:140). The 'poor and needy' that are freed from oppression are the godly whom hear and receive the pure, refined as silver, words of God. This purified silver is kept and preserved, available to all generations.

And then, in contrast to the natural lifting up and contrast with the "words of the LORD" - to try to apply verse seven as to the poor and needy and not to the words of God, you would have to create a whole new class of people.

-- the silver, purified, kept and preserved poor and needy (many who are oppressed, and receive injustice, are themselves not even believers).

And the modernist attempt would take these attributes of purity and refinement as silver away from the words of God. Yet any simple and clear reading of the Psalm shows that the Psalm compares the words of flattering and fleeting wicked men with God's eternal and preserved and pure words.

Now, because God's words are preserved, many who receive and keep those words (e.g. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) will be preserved, even in fire. This is a result of their dedication to God's pure words. Personally, I do not see any difficulty in the auxiliary linked understanding of Psalm 12 being the preservation of those faithful to God's pure words. Even a bit of deliberate dual meaning in the Psalm is possible, and the historic Jewish understanding included both aspects. Whether or not one allows for the auxiliary interpretation, it is clear that the primary and forceful and clear and majestic meaning of Psalm 12:7 is the preservation of God's words.


Last edited by Steven Avery; 05-23-2008 at 08:23 AM.