Summer in the Psalms

July 12-16


Where Have All the Good People Gone? All Alone

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gonefor the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. – Psalm 12:1 (ESV)

One of the powerful figures in Wall Street fell in love with an actress. For many months, he was always seen escorting her about in the fashionable circles of town. Deciding to marry her, he first put a private detective to the job of looking into her former dealings and friends in order to guard himself against any rash mistake. At last, he received his agent’s report. “Miss Blank enjoys an excellent reputation. Her past is spotless. Her associates have been above reproach. The only breath of scandal is that, in recent months, she has been much seen in the company of a businessman of doubtful reputation.” (Davon Huss)

In Psalm 12, David found himself surrounded by people with doubtful reputations. Feeling alone as a believer has been repeated over and over again in Scripture. Even Jesus had times of being alone or abandoned. Psalm 12 provides us with some insight and inspiration on how we should respond when we feel alone standing for what’s right.


When was the last time you felt alone standing for what was right? What did you do at that moment? What difference did God’s presence make?


David cried out to God in his aloneness. Take some time and talk to God about the world around you and ask for His direction.


Where Have All the Good People Gone? Discouraged

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;  for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. – Psalm 12:1 (ESV)

At a village church in Kalonovka, Russia, attendance at Sunday school picked up after the priest started handing out candy to the peasant children. One of the most faithful was a pug-nosed lad who recited his Scriptures with proper piety, pocketed his reward, then fled into the fields to munch on it. The priest persuaded him to attend church school. This was preferable to doing household chores from which his devout parents excused him. The priest managed to teach the boy the four Gospels. In fact, he won a special prize for learning all four by heart and reciting them nonstop in church. Sixty years later, he still liked to recite Scriptures, but in a context that would horrify the old priest. For the prize pupil, who memorized so much of the Bible, was Nikita Khrushchev, the former Communist czar. (Author Unknown)

Krushchev looked faithful at one point in his life but clearly hadn’t embraced the faith of the Bible. The story of people growing up in church and later not living out what they learned is not uncommon. David sensed God’s faithful people had “vanished” and were nowhere to be found. When David looked at the world around him he was discouraged.


Pastor Jim reminded us in the sermon that looking inward can lead us to a place of discouragement. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves when we feel like no one else shares our values. However, God always has a plan and has not lost control of the situation. God doesn’t want you to tackle society on your own. You need Him and you need other believers.


Thank God that you don’t have to do it alone. Praise God for always raising up His people at the perfect time.


Where Have All the Good People Gone? Dishonest

Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.– Psalm 12:2 (ESV)

Years ago, according to the U.S. News & World Report, Lon Grammer claimed some impressive credentials when he transferred to Yale from Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo, Calif., including a 3.9 grade point average. He did well at Yale, too, playing rugby while earning a B average. But a mere month before he was to graduate with a degree in political science, Yale expelled the 25-year-old and charged him with taking $61,475 under false pretenses. School officials say he lied about his GPA and forged recommendations from nonexistent teachers. (In a TV interview, he pleaded that his actions were no worse than what happens every day when people lie on resumes.)

David felt like everyone around him was lying. This was one of the pieces of evidence of faithlessness David cited in Psalms 12:1. The phrase “flattering lips” is literally translated “Lips of smoothness.” People would say whatever people wanted to hear. This was further emphasized by a “double heart.” People wanted to be liked by everyone and would sacrifice the truth to be liked.


Sometimes the truth hurts. Though we should never intentionally hurt people with our words, sometimes the most loving truth is painful to hear. When was the last time someone shared a truth with you that was hard to hear? When was the last time you didn’t share the truth because you were afraid someone wouldn’t like you?


Psalm 33:4 says, “For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.” Praise God for always telling the truth in love.


Where Have All the Good People Gone? Deliverance

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs. – Psalm 12:5 (ESV)

Vernon Grounds tells of an incident that happened while he was in seminary. Since the school had no gymnasium, he and his friends played basketball in a nearby public school. Nearby, an elderly janitor waited patiently until the seminarians finished playing. Invariably, he sat there reading his Bible. One day my friend asked him what he was reading. The man answered, “The book of Revelation.” Surprised, my friend asked if he understood it. “Oh, yes,” the man assured him. “I understand it.” “What does it mean?” Quietly the janitor answered, “It means that Jesus is gonna win.” Grounds concludes, “That’s the best commentary I have ever heard on that book. Jesus is going to win. That’s the Biblical mindset.” (Source unknown).

David concludes in Psalm 12:5 that God is going to win. There comes a time when God rises up and says “Enough is enough.” God then promises to provide a place of safety for the oppressed. God says this is “for which he longs.” The person surrounded by unrighteousness longs to feel safe and protected by God.


Pastor Jim reminded us that if we look up instead of looking around and looking within we will find deliverance. When you see and hear of so much trouble in the world, what direction do you most often look: around? within? or up?


Read Psalm 121. Where does the psalmist find help? Let this psalm be your prayer and praise today.


Where Have All the Good People Gone? Declaration

You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. – Psalm 12:7 (ESV)

Two explorers were on a jungle safari when suddenly a ferocious lion jumped in front of them. “Keep calm” the first explorer whispered. “Remember what we read in that book on wild animals? If you stand perfectly still and look the lion in the eye, he will turn and run.” “Sure,” replied his companion. “You’ve read the book, and I’ve read the book. But has the lion read the book?”

In Psalm 12:7, David has read God’s book and makes a bold declaration that God will keep His people and God will guard His people. Reading the Bible, God’s book can help us discern what God’s will is for our lives. Missionary Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “The will of God is not something you ADD to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Word of God……or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”


How has your time in God’s Word grown your confidence in God? Would those around you say you are more hopeful about the future because of your faith in God?


Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Thank God for being a shield in your life and guarding your soul. Ask God to grow your confidence in His Word and our future.