When truth is gone
We often don’t know how vital truth is till we find ourselves wading through a slough of lies and the oppressed pay the price for its loss. Thankfully, God not only cares, but will act to defend the defenceless.
A David psalm.
1 Help, YHWH!
There’s no one faithful left!
People of integrity
have vanished from the human race!
2 Everyone lies to each other.
They flatter and fawn
—say one thing, think another.
3 May YHWH cut off their sweet-talking lips
and cut out their big-talking tongues.
4 They boast, “We say whatever we like
and get whatever we want.
We answer to no one!”
5 But YHWH says, “I’m going to take action now.
Because the poor are being plundered
the needy groaning
I will grant them the protection they long for.”
6 YHWH’s words are unalloyed
like silver refined in a furnace seven times over.
7 You, YHWH, will protect us.
You’ll guard us forever from this lying lot
8 even though the wicked strut about
and everyone everywhere honors moral rot.
Lamenting that nobody tells the truth or keeps their word, David cries for help. People boast and brag as if objective reality were totally irrelevant. All that matters is how they call things. They blame others for their wrongs. They praise those they detest to get what they want from them. Playing loose, they view their words as instruments of will and themselves as able to write their own rules. Their goals throughout are to plunder the poor, maintain their power and have everything for themselves. They assure themselves they’ll never have to answer to anyone for their words or actions. This explains David’s urgency.
Mercifully, God commits to acting on behalf of the poor. He knows the powerful have taken what little the poor had from them. He’s heard the earth’s wretched groaning and cares enough to defend them.
In sharp contrast to the empty talk of earth’s powerbrokers, God’s words are utterly reliable, purified to the nth degree. So David expresses his confidence in God. On the surface, nothing has changed. Yet in charge, the wicked still swagger and crow. And everybody still honors moral filth. But David knows everything has fundamentally changed because God has spoken.
On the surface nothing’s changed since David wrote this, God. The power-hungry still abuse their words and the poor alike. People still celebrate immorality. Yet you’ve spoken definitively in Christ and your word is truth. So I now simply ask you to do what you’ve pledged to do. Amen.