Psalm 12: Pure Words

Devotionals > Old Testament > Psalms > Psalm 12: Pure Words

Psalm 12: Pure Words

January 12, 2022


Genesis 29-30Psalm 12Matthew 5:21-32Acts 7:39-60 

Psalm 12:

David is again surrounded by problems. It is easy to think that a king or national leader has few problems. But the reality is that the more authority you have, the more responsibility—and with increased responsibility comes increased pressure. David knew all about this. But while few reading this will be kings (or presidents, or prime ministers), all of us know what it means to be under pressure. In particular, you may know the particular pressure that was facing David in our psalm this morning.

Lies. “Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” It seems like exaggeration to say that “everyone” utters lies. It may be that David is telling us how it feels to him at this moment. The lying and slander about him was so bad that it felt now as if everyone was lying.

Or it could be that David is speaking specifically. Who is there who can honestly say that they have never misrepresented themselves to their neighbor, work colleague, friend, family member, or passing acquaintance? But the particular lying that David has in mind is the person who aims to use his words to master other people. “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

Or, later in the psalm, “On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.” This is all very relevant. We live in a world where social media, fake news, and reputation management is big business and big danger. How can we effectively live in a godly way online, as well as in the home and at work, without being damaged by lying words (or uttering them ourselves)? The key is found in verse 6:

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

In contrast to all this lying, David does not place his own truth speaking. Instead, he contrasts human lies with God’s words. They are pure words. They have, indeed, like silver been purified seven times. There, in God’s Word, there is no lying. There, in the Bible, is a place where you can put your trust. In other words, when you are in despair about the calumny of the world in which we live, and when you have been personally damaged by it, lean on God’s Word. You can trust what he says. You can bank your life on his truth. There you can find refuge.


Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.


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