Saturday, March 6, 2010

Psalm 12:2,4b,8 "Wicked talk and wicked walk"

Psalm 12:2, 4b, 8 "They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. Our lips are our own who is lord over us? The wicked strut about on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men."

Another "wicked" set of verses, as this references the wicked. God is highlighting several characteristics of the wicked-their talk and their walk. What is it in their words? First they speak falsehoods to one another. There is an inner circle of lies. There is a band of liars who feed off one another, lies begetting lies. They don't speak truth. This falsehood is a body of lies, half-truths, exaggerations, vain speculations, twisted evidence. This is the wicked in community sharing with one another.
They flatter themselves: Just like the Pharisees of old who loved to be called rabbi/teacher; they loved the special places of honor. Today's Pharisees are not hard to find either. They are tucked away in the universities, they are floating about in the churches, they are the liberal theologians, men of high secular standing, or even the burned out scholastic's blogging away lies on his lap-top of death. Nevertheless, they love the flattery, the award, the recognition, the prize. Worldly wisdom leading men on a roller coaster of false conclusions. They major in falsehood and minor in flattery.
When they speak they speak with a double heart. The double heart means he really doesn't believe what he is saying. He knows, but he doesn't Know. He may see the significance but it is without meaning. Double hearted means he is divided within himself. It's the problem with hypocrites doing and saying one thing and practicing just the opposite.
"Our lips are our own, who is lord over us" These liars are the self proclaimed commanders of their own lips. They steer the ships lips without any acknowledgment that God is captain. They would rather toss him over board so that they could chart their own course. As a result, their rudder is broken and they are abandoned to the high seas of autonomy. Unable to steer themselves properly they are left directionless. Instead of avoiding the storm they go right into it. When Christ is not your heavenly pilot your compass spins wildly. You are now at the disposal of the high waves and the unforgiving seas. Your ship will eventually capsize or be dashed against the rocks.
In rejecting the Lord you give yourself the label. You want lip-ownership from the owner who created lips. God will keep me from speaking my mind and too be honest I want to let it fly no matter if it hurts or if its filth. I want to take the garbage out to the curb and no one is going to stop me. Bold declarations are made when God is removed from the picture. Autonomous assertions of self-sufficiency and ownership of ones life. Cocky statements of self rule and lordship. We say what we want and we rule what we want.
The self-deception of the wicked leads them to modify their walks. Arrogance/pride changes a mans walk. There is a wicked-walk a sinful-strut among them. It is plain to see as it is "on every side". They too are into exaltation, they exalt in vileness. Vile deeds cause them to strut about in their wickedness. This is the pride of the wicked. They delight in the perverse, the coarse joking, the crass and sexually explicit remarks. The vileness is deep in them and instead of God being praised the villainous vile deed is rejoiced in. This is the backwardness of life a reversal of all that God intended for man.
When Christ enters in all things begin to change. He is ushering in the New Creation. New life springs forth and the disease of sin is taken away. Instead of falsehood truthfulness flows off the lips. Instead of a double heart, he is given a united heart that has singularity of vision. Our lips are now functioning the way in which God intended. Our lips are now cauterized with the coals from the alter, sanctified for Kingdom proclamation. We are given a unified heart and know we love with gospel love. We no longer declare that our lips are our own (or any part of our bodies to do what we wish) but we acknowledge that we have been bought with a price-the blood of Christ and gladly give every appendage for Kingdom service. Our lordship also changes. We move from the realm of self-sovereign to Sovereign-Savior. We have a new walk. No longer do we have a stray-strut, a wild walk, a sinister step, but now we walk in the Spirit, we keep in step with the Spirit, we follow a new Master in quiet assurance not in bold defiance. He enlarges our steps; our path is narrow, firm, and secure. We were climbing a mountain of sin, scaling the heights, clinging to every rocky crag, building our own Babels. If we are to strut it will be because of what Christ has accomplished. We go from exalting vileness to exalting His virtue. We begin to glory in new and better things. He gives us an undivided heart that beats with the pulse of his plan and purpose.
We now begin to speak and walk like Jesus. Jesus spoke the truth. He did not use flattery but only spoke what the Father commanded. He didn't entrust himself to men because he knew what was in the heart of men. He was no respecter of persons. His heart was set on the mission set before Him- to save His people from their sins. His hearts aim was to fulfill all righteousness. Ultimately his words and his walk led him to Calvary. This is also where we see the wicked strutted about on every side of the cross. We see the villainy and vileness exalted among the sons of men as they heap insults and abuses upon the Lord. We see him dying for such as these- the liars, the double-hearted, the lip-owners, the self-made kings, the wicked-strutter's, and the vile-exalter's.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Psalm 13:6 "His Bounty, my song"

"I will sing to the Lord for he has dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:6

Spiritual songs rise up in the hearts of men for various reasons. The psalmist makes up his mind that he will sing to the Lord. His heart is filled and wells up to his God with joyful song. Gods bounty has affected him in such a way that he cannot help but sing. Resting on the psalmist is the Spirit of God-the Spirit causes him to recognize Gods provision and care, and the Spirit sets forth to stir loves song.

This is becoming of the saint; there is always a song to be sung. We are commanded to sing hymns, spiritual songs, making melodies in our hearts for God for this pleases him. God is a song writer for he places his Spirit in a man to make him sing. Out of all the religions in the world we (Christians) are the only ones who sing to God, and that in a major key. There are other religions that chant but none of them have the melody and harmonies strung together. These songs are sung in joyful antiphonal praise out of love and gratitude. God directs His orchestra, he leads the Church in joyful song. The song of redemption fills the earth. The people of God assemble to sing to God as he has directed.

All music was meant for the Lord, but when we look out over the world we see music that is base and profane, almost always centered on self, sex, false views of love, money, and trivial topics that ultimately don't glorify God. God for them is merely a means to an end, he's the supernatural prop for their lives so that they can get a fat bank roll.

Bounty means- generous/good. God has been generous with us. We can reflect on our lives and see past bounty (generosity) in Gods dealings with us. We can think of present bounties that God is working in us and through us. We can also hope for future bounties as we wait in eager expectation for Christ return and Heaven. Gods generosity pours out and spills over us in all directions. Reason-he has already given us of His Son so every other thing that is given is given with that perspective in mind. Those things are lesser generosities in comparison to the greatest generosity given in his Son. Nonetheless, they come to us from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Generosity abounds.

The great song to be sung is the song of salvation. It's a divine paradox. He dealt most bountifully with me when He was suffering on the cross. He was absorbing my guilt, shame, wrath, judgment. He was providing entrance for me, bringing me to the Father. He was making payment in his blood, that he so generously gave for my sins. His stripes, nails, shed blood, thorny crown...these were my bounty. The greatest act on my behave bought me the greatest treasure. He was bountifully bruised so that I might be bountifully bought. The bounty of his blood was spilled because the bounty of my sin was great. He gave up a measure of his bounty and became a man so that I might experience the full measure of His bounty and become his child. His bounty is so full and immeasurable it fills Heavens warehouse. His silos of generosity never run dry and it will take an eternity to dispense His bounty to his people. While this takes place we will sing to Him- the boundless giver of beautiful bounty.