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psalm 12

July 30, 2011

The words of the LORD are pure words,

like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,

purified seven times.

             Psalm 12

This week, Linn and I watched Shutter Island. The story revolves around a U.S. Marshal’s investigation into a creepy mental hospital for the criminally insane during the 1950’s.

One of the major tensions in the story is the simple question: Who can the main character trust? He is in a creepy place and has been lied to repeatedly. He is also beginning to wonder if everything is part of an elaborate government conspiracy. He has no solid sense of what to believe.

This is a familiar tension that has driven many stories—from Lost, to 24 to the ever-being-remade Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Why is this story-line so appealing? It’s so appealing because we live in a world where trust can be hard to come by. Some of us have been betrayed by people very close to us. Most of us have learned to be suspicious of anybody trying to sell us anything or take advantage of us.

In short, we live in a world where cynicism and suspicion are helpful life skills.

Enter Psalm 12. This Psalm addresses life in a world where “everyone utters lies to their neighbor”.  In such a world of uncertainty, God speaks truthfully to us. The Psalmist writes:

The words of the Lord are pure words.

God does not lie to us. His words are pure and not mixed with lies, flattery or manipulative motives.  He will keep every single one of his promises. His commandments are good for us and will not lead us astray.

This should bring us great relief. There is one place to which we can turn and hear the truth—God’s word.

That’s why in worship every week, after the Scripture lesson, the reader says, “The word of the Lord.” Then we, as a congregation reply, “Thanks be to God!” We are grateful that God has given us a reliable “North Star” to guide us home.

God’s word is the only completely trustworthy guide we have in this world.

This week, we are focusing our worship on Psalm 12.

I hope to worship with you.

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