Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 12

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-8

  1. Intro: Vox Dei. Verbum Dei. The Power of Words [voice/words]
    1. Our Psalm 12 is about the use and the abuse of words.
      1. People that heard Washington or Lincoln, Churchill or Patton, Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. we’re inspired and challenged. Yet words from Adolf Hitler, swept the world with destruction. Words are both our glory and our shame.
      2. We try to figure out what to believe today between...fake news, false advertisement, spurious websites...who do we believe?
    2. Psalm 12 is a corporate lament. A lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.
      1. David wrote 46 out of 59 of the Psalm laments.
      2. Individual laments consisted of: Introductory cry to God. Lament. Confession of trust. Petition. Vow/expression of praise. National laments follow the same pattern, but they are usually shorter...like the one we have here.
    3. The psalmist speaks for a faithful community living in a faithless generation.
      1. The psalmist speaks for a community that feels alone and isolated. The psalmist seems that the world is almost entirely godless.
    4. Let’s read it. [and now in the msg]
    5. Quick, God, I need your helping hand! The last decent person just went down, All the friends I depended on gone. Everyone talks in lie language; Lies slide off their oily lips. They double-talk with forked tongues.
    6. 3,4 Slice their lips off their faces! Pull The braggart tongues from their mouths! I’m tired of hearing, “We can talk anyone into anything! Our lips manage the world.”
    7. 5 Into the hovels of the poor, Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks: “I’ve had enough; I’m on my way To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”
    8. 6–8 God’s words are pure words, Pure silver words refined seven times In the fires of his word-kiln, Pure on earth as well as in heaven. God, keep us safe from their lies, From the wicked who stalk us w/lies, From the wicked who collect honors For their wonderful lies.
  2. MAN’S WORDS (1-4)
    1. Ever look around and wonder where all the Christians are? Ever feel like Christianity is vanishing from the earth? Are the godly going extinct? Ever feel like you’re the only Christian in your office/school/work or in your neighborhood?
      1. That’s how David felt. He feels all alone. No wonder why he cries out, Help, Lord!
    2. Help, Lord - When the creature failed, he flew to the Creator.
      1. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help.
      2. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of 2 words, Help, Lord. [much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain folks]
      3. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. [Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner]
      4. The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent. How suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them.
      5. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request.
    3. Help, Lord, will suit us living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In him our help is found, don’t be slow in crying out to him.
      1. The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus.
      2. The Lord’s character assures us that he will not leave his people. His relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us His aid. His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and his sure promise stands, Fear not, I will help thee.
    4. The Elijah complex kicks in.
    5. He’s surrounded by people of the lie.
    6. Surrounded by people who use words not to advance truth but to advance their own evil ends. They do 4 things:
      1. They lie (empty talk) - speak idly. The Hebrew word actually means emptiness which include the idea of insincerity and irresponsibility. Our best expression would be empty talk, vanity.
        1. Throughout your day...isn’t so much of our conversations at this level?
      2. They flatter (smooth talk) - flattery goes another step beyond mere emptiness. It contains the additional elements of a corrupt or evil motives.
        1. People flatter others for bad purposes: to get something out of them, deceive them, or cheat them. The Hebrew actually means smooth. Mike meet me at pizza green I’ll be getting directly. Mike Caruso married couples pizza night.
      3. They deceive (double talk) - lit, they speak with a heart and a heart.
        1. Like George Orwell used in his novel 1984 it’s doublespeak.
        2. Double talk. Talking out of both sides of your mouth.
          1. It’s what happened when an Abortion, the killing of a baby became referred to as, a surgical procedure. A baby, became a fetus, became only tissue. No one gets disturbed about aborting tissue, that’s like removing a mole. Or worse than a surgical procedure it became known as a heroic exercise of the right of free choice by the mother.
      4. They boast (prideful talk) - proud things. Look at their 3 claims in vs.4.
        1. With are tongue we will prevail (the ends justify the means).
        2. Our lips are our own (claims autonomy, we have the rt to say anything we please)
        3. Who is the Lord over us? (if we live when we speak, who is there who can call us to account? There is no higher standard or accountability)
  3. GOD’S WORDS (5-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​(5) Here, David quotes God directly.
    2. The figurative expression now I will arise refers to God beginning to act on behalf of the weak and the needy.
      1. The Lord will protect the victims of the arrogant & deceitful words of the wicked
      2. For God to rise up was an expression used whenever the ark of the covenant set out in the wilderness. Nm.10:35
      3. It conveyed the image of the Lord’s leadership and His defeat of the enemies of His people.
        1. God stands up reminds me of my dads squeaky maroon recliner. (explain)
    3. (6) God’s words are pure, proved, & preserved. You can depend on them.
      1. So much of what man says is cheap & temporary, but God’s word is like pure silver that is valuable & lasting.
    4. Seven times/purifications - Usually silver went through the refining process a few times to remove all of the dross.
      1. If silver was refined 7 times it would be completely pure.
    5. Position Wanted: I would like a job as tutor, teacher and advisor to your family. I will never take a vacation. I will never be out of humor.I don't drink or smoke. I won't borrow your clothes or raid your refrigerator. I will be up in the morning as early as anyone in the household and will stay up as late as anyone wishes. I will help solve any problems your children might have. I will give you the satisfaction of knowing that no question your children ask will go unanswered. For that matter, I will answer any of your own questions on subjects that range from "How we got here?" to "Where are we headed?" I will help settle bets and differences of opinion. I will give you information that will help you with your job, your family and all of your other interests. In short, I will give you the knowledge that will insure the continued success of your family. I am your Bible. Do I get the job?
    6. ​​​​​​​We believe the Old & NT to be plenary (full/complete), verbally inspired by God (God breathed), inerrant (incapable of mistakes) in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
    7. The Word is durable, outlasting all its critics, surviving all the attempts of its enemies to exterminate it. It is miraculous in its results, transforming the lives of those who read and believe it. It is marvelous in its harmony, agreeing in all its parts, written over a period of 1400 years, by about 40 different authors.It is Fabulous in its preservation, maintaining its accuracy and reliability down through the centuries.
    8. Years ago I had my bible rebound: I could write anything on it in gold writing. I choose one thing to place on it…Holy Bible. [It’s ok if you have your name on it]
      1. Why? Often, when we say less, it says more.
      2. Holy (set apart) & Bible (book). It is set apart, unique, exclusive, & matchless from any other writing.
    9. 2 Tim.3:14-17sums up the whole purpose of the bible: Salvation(15) & Christian Living(16,17)
      1. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    10. Paul tells us the bible will:
      1. ​​​​​​​Assure us of God’s word. Make us wise for salvation.
      2. Teach us what’s right. Show us what’s wrong. Correct us how to be right. Instruct us – How to stay right. Complete us for eternity. And Equip us for every good work.
    11. Spurgeon said, The scriptures were not given for our information, but for our transformation.
    12. All – not some. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
      1. ​​​​​​​Not Concept, or Thought Inspiration, but Verbal Inspiration.
        1. Concept, or Thought Inspiration = only the concept, or thoughts, of men were given by inspiration. [Trouble w/this? Pick & chose]
        2. Verbal Inspiration = The very words were given by the HS (the writers weren’t left absolutely to themselves in the choice of words they should use).
      2. Not Partial Inspiration, but Plenary/Full Inspiration.
        1. ​​​​​​​Partial Inspiration = The bible only contains the word of God.
          1. Partial implies the bible contains much that is not inspired. And then who decides which is, or isn’t?
        2. Plenary/Full Inspiration = It holds All Scripture to be inspired.
    13. Inspiration – God-breathed, filled with the breath of God. Out-breathed. Exhaled.
      1. Just as we must expel breath from our mouths when we speak, so ultimately Scripture is God speaking.
      2. Mt.4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
      3. The Bible is the Vox Dei (the voice of God) & the Verbum Dei (the Word of God) but doesn’t suggest it was written by God’s own hand nor fell from a parachute from heaven.
        1. Wiersbe, The Spirit of God, enabled the men of God, to write the Word of God.
      4. Infallible & Inerrant: It’s incapable of making a mistake, it always tells the truth
      5. Inspiration then is the process whereby God breathed out His Word…in which He is its source & superintendent.
    14. (7,8) At the end of Psalm 12...there’s no changing circumstances. The wicked are still freely strutting about (8).
      1. But the Psalmist has changed. God answered, & the Psalmist now realizes that, regardless of what others do, he has the word of the reliable God as his rock and is able to stand on this firm foundation. James Boice
    15. Slide21b If we let our words, be controlled by His Word, then our words will be valuable.
      1. Words of encouragement spoken into a child’s life.
      2. Words of endearment into your spouses life.
      3. Words of Hope into someone who is despairing. Words of promise to someone defeated.
      4. Words of cheer & confidence to someone demoralized.
      5. Words of motivation to someone discouraged.
    16. 1 Sam.14:24-30 Jonathon, honey on a rod, refreshing, his countenance/eyes brightened.
    17. Ps.19:10 Gods word is...sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. so…
      1. If you are cold, let it WARM you. If you are asleep, let it WAKE you.
        If you are a backslider, let it WARN you. If you are defiled, let it WASH you.
        If you are disobedient, let it WHIP you.
        If you are uncertain, let it WITNESS to you.
        If you are unsaved, let it WIN you.

Verses 1-8

  1. Intro: Vox Dei. Verbum Dei. The Power of Words [voice/words]
    1. Our Psalm 12 is about the use and the abuse of words.
      1. People that heard Washington or Lincoln, Churchill or Patton, Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. we’re inspired and challenged. Yet words from Adolf Hitler, swept the world with destruction. Words are both our glory and our shame.
      2. We try to figure out what to believe today between...fake news, false advertisement, spurious websites...who do we believe?
    2. Psalm 12 is a corporate lament. A lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.
      1. David wrote 46 out of 59 of the Psalm laments.
      2. Individual laments consisted of: Introductory cry to God. Lament. Confession of trust. Petition. Vow/expression of praise. National laments follow the same pattern, but they are usually shorter...like the one we have here.
    3. The psalmist speaks for a faithful community living in a faithless generation.
      1. The psalmist speaks for a community that feels alone and isolated. The psalmist seems that the world is almost entirely godless.
    4. Let’s read it. [and now in the msg]
    5. Quick, God, I need your helping hand! The last decent person just went down, All the friends I depended on gone. Everyone talks in lie language; Lies slide off their oily lips. They double-talk with forked tongues.
    6. 3,4 Slice their lips off their faces! Pull The braggart tongues from their mouths! I’m tired of hearing, “We can talk anyone into anything! Our lips manage the world.”
    7. 5 Into the hovels of the poor, Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks: “I’ve had enough; I’m on my way To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”
    8. 6–8 God’s words are pure words, Pure silver words refined seven times In the fires of his word-kiln, Pure on earth as well as in heaven. God, keep us safe from their lies, From the wicked who stalk us w/lies, From the wicked who collect honors For their wonderful lies.
  2. MAN’S WORDS (1-4)
    1. Ever look around and wonder where all the Christians are? Ever feel like Christianity is vanishing from the earth? Are the godly going extinct? Ever feel like you’re the only Christian in your office/school/work or in your neighborhood?
      1. That’s how David felt. He feels all alone. No wonder why he cries out, Help, Lord!
    2. Help, Lord - When the creature failed, he flew to the Creator.
      1. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help.
      2. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of 2 words, Help, Lord. [much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain folks]
      3. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. [Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner]
      4. The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent. How suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them.
      5. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request.
    3. Help, Lord, will suit us living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In him our help is found, don’t be slow in crying out to him.
      1. The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus.
      2. The Lord’s character assures us that he will not leave his people. His relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us His aid. His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and his sure promise stands, Fear not, I will help thee.
    4. The Elijah complex kicks in.
    5. He’s surrounded by people of the lie.
    6. Surrounded by people who use words not to advance truth but to advance their own evil ends. They do 4 things:
      1. They lie (empty talk) - speak idly. The Hebrew word actually means emptiness which include the idea of insincerity and irresponsibility. Our best expression would be empty talk, vanity.
        1. Throughout your day...isn’t so much of our conversations at this level?
      2. They flatter (smooth talk) - flattery goes another step beyond mere emptiness. It contains the additional elements of a corrupt or evil motives.
        1. People flatter others for bad purposes: to get something out of them, deceive them, or cheat them. The Hebrew actually means smooth. Mike meet me at pizza green I’ll be getting directly. Mike Caruso married couples pizza night.
      3. They deceive (double talk) - lit, they speak with a heart and a heart.
        1. Like George Orwell used in his novel 1984 it’s doublespeak.
        2. Double talk. Talking out of both sides of your mouth.
          1. It’s what happened when an Abortion, the killing of a baby became referred to as, a surgical procedure. A baby, became a fetus, became only tissue. No one gets disturbed about aborting tissue, that’s like removing a mole. Or worse than a surgical procedure it became known as a heroic exercise of the right of free choice by the mother.
      4. They boast (prideful talk) - proud things. Look at their 3 claims in vs.4.
        1. With are tongue we will prevail (the ends justify the means).
        2. Our lips are our own (claims autonomy, we have the rt to say anything we please)
        3. Who is the Lord over us? (if we live when we speak, who is there who can call us to account? There is no higher standard or accountability)
  3. GOD’S WORDS (5-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​(5) Here, David quotes God directly.
    2. The figurative expression now I will arise refers to God beginning to act on behalf of the weak and the needy.
      1. The Lord will protect the victims of the arrogant & deceitful words of the wicked
      2. For God to rise up was an expression used whenever the ark of the covenant set out in the wilderness. Nm.10:35
      3. It conveyed the image of the Lord’s leadership and His defeat of the enemies of His people.
        1. God stands up reminds me of my dads squeaky maroon recliner. (explain)
    3. (6) God’s words are pure, proved, & preserved. You can depend on them.
      1. So much of what man says is cheap & temporary, but God’s word is like pure silver that is valuable & lasting.
    4. Seven times/purifications - Usually silver went through the refining process a few times to remove all of the dross.
      1. If silver was refined 7 times it would be completely pure.
    5. Position Wanted: I would like a job as tutor, teacher and advisor to your family. I will never take a vacation. I will never be out of humor.I don't drink or smoke. I won't borrow your clothes or raid your refrigerator. I will be up in the morning as early as anyone in the household and will stay up as late as anyone wishes. I will help solve any problems your children might have. I will give you the satisfaction of knowing that no question your children ask will go unanswered. For that matter, I will answer any of your own questions on subjects that range from "How we got here?" to "Where are we headed?" I will help settle bets and differences of opinion. I will give you information that will help you with your job, your family and all of your other interests. In short, I will give you the knowledge that will insure the continued success of your family. I am your Bible. Do I get the job?
    6. ​​​​​​​We believe the Old & NT to be plenary (full/complete), verbally inspired by God (God breathed), inerrant (incapable of mistakes) in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
    7. The Word is durable, outlasting all its critics, surviving all the attempts of its enemies to exterminate it. It is miraculous in its results, transforming the lives of those who read and believe it. It is marvelous in its harmony, agreeing in all its parts, written over a period of 1400 years, by about 40 different authors.It is Fabulous in its preservation, maintaining its accuracy and reliability down through the centuries.
    8. Years ago I had my bible rebound: I could write anything on it in gold writing. I choose one thing to place on it…Holy Bible. [It’s ok if you have your name on it]
      1. Why? Often, when we say less, it says more.
      2. Holy (set apart) & Bible (book). It is set apart, unique, exclusive, & matchless from any other writing.
    9. 2 Tim.3:14-17sums up the whole purpose of the bible: Salvation(15) & Christian Living(16,17)
      1. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    10. Paul tells us the bible will:
      1. ​​​​​​​Assure us of God’s word. Make us wise for salvation.
      2. Teach us what’s right. Show us what’s wrong. Correct us how to be right. Instruct us – How to stay right. Complete us for eternity. And Equip us for every good work.
    11. Spurgeon said, The scriptures were not given for our information, but for our transformation.
    12. All – not some. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
      1. ​​​​​​​Not Concept, or Thought Inspiration, but Verbal Inspiration.
        1. Concept, or Thought Inspiration = only the concept, or thoughts, of men were given by inspiration. [Trouble w/this? Pick & chose]
        2. Verbal Inspiration = The very words were given by the HS (the writers weren’t left absolutely to themselves in the choice of words they should use).
      2. Not Partial Inspiration, but Plenary/Full Inspiration.
        1. ​​​​​​​Partial Inspiration = The bible only contains the word of God.
          1. Partial implies the bible contains much that is not inspired. And then who decides which is, or isn’t?
        2. Plenary/Full Inspiration = It holds All Scripture to be inspired.
    13. Inspiration – God-breathed, filled with the breath of God. Out-breathed. Exhaled.
      1. Just as we must expel breath from our mouths when we speak, so ultimately Scripture is God speaking.
      2. Mt.4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
      3. The Bible is the Vox Dei (the voice of God) & the Verbum Dei (the Word of God) but doesn’t suggest it was written by God’s own hand nor fell from a parachute from heaven.
        1. Wiersbe, The Spirit of God, enabled the men of God, to write the Word of God.
      4. Infallible & Inerrant: It’s incapable of making a mistake, it always tells the truth
      5. Inspiration then is the process whereby God breathed out His Word…in which He is its source & superintendent.
    14. (7,8) At the end of Psalm 12...there’s no changing circumstances. The wicked are still freely strutting about (8).
      1. But the Psalmist has changed. God answered, & the Psalmist now realizes that, regardless of what others do, he has the word of the reliable God as his rock and is able to stand on this firm foundation. James Boice
    15. Slide21b If we let our words, be controlled by His Word, then our words will be valuable.
      1. Words of encouragement spoken into a child’s life.
      2. Words of endearment into your spouses life.
      3. Words of Hope into someone who is despairing. Words of promise to someone defeated.
      4. Words of cheer & confidence to someone demoralized.
      5. Words of motivation to someone discouraged.
    16. 1 Sam.14:24-30 Jonathon, honey on a rod, refreshing, his countenance/eyes brightened.
    17. Ps.19:10 Gods word is...sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. so…
      1. If you are cold, let it WARM you. If you are asleep, let it WAKE you.
        If you are a backslider, let it WARN you. If you are defiled, let it WASH you.
        If you are disobedient, let it WHIP you.
        If you are uncertain, let it WITNESS to you.
        If you are unsaved, let it WIN you.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 12". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-12.html. 2017.
 
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