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False Words or Faithful Words

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2021 8:00 am

False Words or Faithful Words

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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September 21, 2021 8:00 am

Words are important. Words matter. They can be used to build up, or to tear down. Words can be a blessing, or a curse. Today on The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice, we’ll listen in Psalm 12 as David pleads with God to deal with those around him who use their words to boast, lie, cheat, distort and destroy the truth.

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Words are important words matter. They can be used to build up were to tear down words can be a blessing or a curse today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce will listen to Psalm 12. As David pleads with God to deal with those around him who use their words to post why sheet distorts and destroy the truth and welcome to Bible study on radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically in Psalm 12 David feels alone, surrounded by wicked words and evil talk, let's listen together as David contrasts the deceptive words of the wicked with the true enduring and powerful words of God. If you're following along in your Bible turned to Psalm 12 verses one through eight were studying Psalm 12 and I invite you to look that up in your Bible. It's short Psalm and yet one we should look at very carefully. Psalm 12 is about words, about two different uses of words.

The use of words by the wicked. Use them to help press sheet deceive other people and about God's use of words. God uses words to bless us and to provide us with a firm foundation on which to build one way of talking about in this essay, the Psalm is about the abuse and the proper use of human speech. The principle involved is a simple one. The higher and the finer thing is, the more subject. It is to abuse lobbyists.

One of the highest emotions and qualities. We now but were well aware how love can be abused and it's the same way with words in the mouth of Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln or another leading politician. Words can be used to elevate of people and to lift them the moments of greatness. But in that mouth of someone like Adolf Hitler. Words can be use to Pat about an entire nation and the most destructive war have to be on guard against words because words are both our glory being able to speak were able to speak the words of God after him and words are also our shame. This is not the first time and the songs we come across this idea is matter of fact, it's possible to regard Psalm 12 is a commentary upon things they saw must've said in the preceding two songs. The 10th Psalm.

For example, he was describing the wicked a great length and one of the qualities of the weaknesses that they misuse words he said when he was describing them that they use words. The post that most of the cravings of their heart. They use words to sneer here at all their enemies and then after he's described that for a little while the something that goes like this. His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats, trouble, and evil under his tongue. All of that having to do with speech is so powerful that the apostle Paul alludes to that in the third chapter of Romans. When he summing up what he saw to be the characteristics of the wicked in his day. Psalm 12 is now elaborating upon this a little bit same thing is true of Psalm 11. No, it's not quite as prominent errors in the preceding Psalm Verde people that surround them or giving them bad advice. They say look, you can trust God in the circumstances of your why Leo get out of Jerusalem will hide in the map site theory recognizes that for what it is Paul's counsel there saying when the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do, meaning there's nothing they can do they have to flee a lot David does do and that's all this turned to the Lord. It's the way Psalm 11 moves and what he doesn't.

Psalm 11 is precisely what he does in Psalm 12. Tuition is the same is surrounded by lying persons.

The song begins here with him calling upon the Lord.

The first lines of the Psalm say help Lord for the godly are no more faithful have vanished from among men now is at an extreme statement may be, does remind us of what Elijah said when he had had that great victory on Mount Carmel over the priests of bail but then had been forced to flee because Ahab had determined to let me fled into the desert. He was protected by the Lord obviously exhausted from the ordeal not only the flight but the stress of standing against all the united power of this ungodly kingdom of his day and he was so distressed, so downcast that he felt that he was the only one left was faithful to God and all Israel know what he said.

He said take my life that is better for me to die than to live. They have killed the prophets, and I even I only, am left now he was wrong, of course, God spoke to him to tell them that there were actually 7000 left.

Nevertheless, he felt alone and that is probably the way David feels and see begins the song the godly are no more I look around I can find one is when they say the faithful have vanished from among men never feel that way reveals you're the only one left I do at times. My wife always reminds me that she's at least one other, but nevertheless we we do feel that sometimes at work, we feel alone, you're standing against something that's wrong. Nobody stands with you, but he wants to be identify with that as a matter of fact, only today ignore you. They make fun of you because it want to be judged by your standards sometimes you feel alone in your home, you misunderstood. Sometimes you feel alone even in church.

I know people who calm and set them nobody seems to speak to them. They go out, they say, even in the Church of God. I feel that I am utterly alone. Well, that's what David felt as I say, was probably wrong. Certainly Elijah was wrong. Those were worse days and David's 7000 men probably and David Steiner were many, but he doesn't hesitate to say what he feels that one of the great lessons of the Psalms and lessons of the Psalm is to realize it is all right to say what you think and I we we live in an age in the church where you're supposed to maintain all this gone a high standard of Christian conduct and character and all about. And if you say what you really feel. Sometimes everybody dumps on you because they say Chris doesn't talk like that question can feel that way. Well Christians do feel that way. One of the lessons of the Psalms is a better writer. Not that at least of the way David feels it really all and he doesn't hesitate to say that anomaly is he saying openly among other people saying of the God look, Lord, help me God.

Godly the man I look around I don't see any faithful God probably going to say to them, not just calm down there if you remind you that you know but nevertheless he doesn't hesitate to say it also begins to talk about what's bothering him. It was bothering him as the words of these people you know I said earlier when we were studying the theme in Psalm 10 that we don't like to think very much about words we say, well, words are important. One of the lessons of the Psalms. Another lesson was to read through them and find out how often they talk about words, damaging things words do. How dreadful words can be used in David does that here uses a number of terms to say what these people were surrounding MN have eclipsed the godly are doing first thing he says that they lie. Everyone lies to his neighbor about when we use that word lie lie to us means something that is a falsehood that is doesn't correspond the truth. It is in reality the Hebrew term is used here includes that, but it's actually a broader term actually means emptiness so it involves says well as an untruth, all kinds of insincerity empty words, we would say perhaps if we use biblical language vanity of vanities, that's what the speech that surrounds them is all about. It is mean anything at all.

I think where we see this is and what we call cocktail party conversation. I know none of you know that is because you don't go to cocktail parties, but that's got a conversation where people are chattering away, being friendly, saying all sorts of things, but it does not mean the thing and David says when I look around. That's the kind of things that ceramic is a second thing he says not only is everyone lie. Everyone is flattering, his neighbor now that's a stage further on in its worse empty conversation is just that is empty and sort of aimless you you want to say all for goodness sake, stop talking nonsense and say something that means something worthwhile. And that's a proper response, but flattery is it like that flattery is an evil end in view. It has a bad motive at once to deceive somebody pretend things are good when actually want to get something out of them fool them or trick them or pretend something contrary to the truth for your own ends. What's said in the Bible about that. I suppose sin politics send in courtly situations you have this kind of speech primarily, I think Solomon must've felt that a lot of it in his own day in his own court because when you read the Proverbs, which he wrote my new morning again and again in Proverbs about flattery. I noticed that when Daniel speaks about the characteristics of the man of lawlessness is going to appear at the last day one who is generally called the Antichrist.

Someone else in the Bible that one of the things she is said to do is flatter flatter with the use of words to Julie when Jude writes about the ungodly were going to be judged at the final judgments is one of the things they do is use words to flatter well a lot of people like that. We have a lot of that in our own time flattering words or smooth words, people are using smooth speech but smooth speech is glib, easy, pleasing and very deadly. And David says he saw that as well is the third thing he says not only always people around him lying in flattering also deceiving by use of words. Now here's a case where we really miss a little bit of this because of the translation. It's not a bad translation of course deception is exactly what it means, but the actual Hebrew word there is a kind of a Hebrew idiom Render it literally in English make much sense but I give you an idea what it actually says they speak with the heart and the heart is I want is that meanwhile is like saying their double tongue have an Indian expression for tongue speak with forked tongue, or sometimes we say, speaking on both sides of your mouth say to this person know I think so-and-so is nice if it was presiding so-and-so lawful in our you say to that person.

I think he's awful. And you say to that person. I think he's awful now that is speaking with the heart of the heart.

It's a way of deceiving way of expressing it is to say that people like this. Use words to mean the exact opposite. This way they try to get something across but I can't get it across by using the right words will use a word that is the exact opposite of it to somehow given a right connotation and carry it forward on the emotional level with people know they only thought about it would rejected openly.

I suppose the greatest example of that in our day is the way words are being used to build a kind of exception of abortion which would never have existed in an earlier day an earlier day abortions took place. We know that those who were involved in the practice or aborted their children really well if they were doing.

I might've said it's a terrible situation. I don't want to kill my child that I have to because the consequences of my exposed in this have to bear the child to majority or worse than the killing. I was wrong, of course, but at least they were calling it what it wants and then came the legalization of abortion, which meant that you could have babies aborted widely by millions. And now, suddenly, that which was recognized to be bad, but was restricted to seat all over the place and because even in America today, in spite of the moral breakdown of our country. Murder is still regarded as an evil was impossible to talk about abortion is killing babies anymore and language had to change. So the baby and unborn child in the womb first became a fetus on easier to kill a fetus in the baby and then because people are not stupid. They know what fetuses are baby began to be called to show and so the procedure was only to remove tissue. Nobody can get very upset about that is like removing a mole. Even the word abortion was changed. We still have a course that doctors will frequently talk now about a surgical procedure say very easy to have that done. I noticed a very interesting and I would say a new debasement of language in this area. Not very long ago pro-abortion group in Philadelphia that has been holding a rally against Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey is a Democrat that opposes abortion of the Pennsylvania legislators just passed a bill limiting abortion in some cases, after 24 weeks. For example, cases of the life of the mother rape and incense in advance abortions for sex discrimination so you want a boy to find out the child is a girl you can't kill off the baby and try next time if you get a boy, that sort of thing that establishes a 24 hour waiting period to interpret some of this action.

While a number of helpful and I suppose very wise things like that Gov. Casey favors that this will abortion group is not so they have stage rally minus the advertisement for this and it's because of Akamai mention it, here's the way the signs for this rally against Gov. Casey red the reproductive rights whopper is coming to town protest anti-choice Gov. Casey, I want to say I don't mind the rally itself. It's a free country and people want to be able to rally against anything I don't like I don't even mind that these people having a rally against Gov. Casey.

If they are opposed to a particular position, but what I do mind is the language involved reproductive rights whopper really thinking off. I mean abortion may be many things, but the one thing it is not is the protection of reproductive rights everybody has is right you have to be married to have those rights, you can have children long as you can find somebody to have the children with so it's not reproductive rights. It's in view. But what's in view of the matter abortion is the murder of the baby. In other words, it's the killing of the one who is thereby reproduced what an obvious distortion of language what it deception, or, again, is even the word whopper was at the throbbing. After all, it's a Gov. Casey he is accused of theft but actually is concerned is protect the life of the child and to do it legally. Upholding a law that passed in our state legislature real robbers of the abortionist because they're stealing a life of the child while we have many examples of math a license day with a flatter latency is the fourth thing that he says these people do with their lips, and it is also bad. That is the most ice balls and out by quoting three things that they say they say we will triumph with our tongues. We own our lips and number three, who is our master out what they mean when they say we triumph with our tongues is that the ends justify the means is either going to lie and deceive in flatter and that's how they're going to try out a are saying we want to win and whatever particular struggle or engage in the means don't matter if we have to lie to get there that's all right. When they say we own our lips what they're saying is we have the right to say anything we please have you heard people say that free country right guaranteed the right of free speech. Even if were lying. We have the right to say anything we please and then the final statement to is our master's acclaimed autonomy.

It's a way of saying there is nobody who can call us to an account.

People don't believe in God and the justice of God dare say that but of course that's Cicely, the point at which these people up, what boasts. Imagine beer mortals standing before the Almighty God and saying we can. Why, if we please. Who is there anywhere who can call us to account. Most things always been a trademark of the infidel great French infidel and atheist.

Voltaire is one might be interested in some of things Voltaire said he is quoted as saying at one occasion in 20 years Christianity will be no more my single hand shall destroy the edifice. It took 12 apostles to rear Voltaire said on another occasion in 50 years no one will even remember Christianity was interesting in the very year he made those boasts, the British Museum paid half $1 million for a Bible manuscript which they purchased from Russia and in the very month they purchased the manuscript one of Voltaire's books was selling in the book stalls in London for eight cents.

50 years later that time frame that Paul Dare had given for the forgetting of Christianity. The Geneva Bible Society, and bought his house and they were using at the store Bibles and disseminate those Bibles throughout a nurse who attended Voltaire during his last illness said for all the wealth in Europe. I would not see another infidel by his doctor was a man named Fakih he was with him when he died and talking reported the Voltaire's very last words were these I am abandoned by God and man. I will give you half of what I'm worth if you will give me six months. Life then I shall go to hell and you will go with me. Oh Christ.

Oh Jesus Christ. What boasts what vein boasts those are how misleading the words can be receiving an example of that recently you know, probably the most famous works of communism are the opening words of Karl Marx Communist manifesto. If you read it you know how it begins. Workers of the world unite just this week I held in Moscow. The 72nd anniversary of the triumph of the communist revolution and workers marched through the streets of the capital of the greatest communist state in the world was signs which said workers of the world where sorry other side and said 72 years leading nowhere else that brings us to the second half of Psalm 12 the first half talks about the vein. Words of man lying words posting were deceiving words flattering work you and are surrounded by that sometimes you and I are guilty of the very same thing. Now we come to the second half instead of the words of man which are so unstable and so harmful you find the words of God." God, for one thing. Verse five is that because of the oppression of the week and the groanings of the needy.

I will now arise as the Lord, I will protect them from those maligned and that is the first time in the software that we have an Oracle that is a direct quotation of words, all the rest of Scripture courses the rest of the Bible is also this is the first time you have actual words from God, and God says he hears a new respondent then David on his smart comments on the words of the Lord is just heard and he says, in the words of the Lord are flawless like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times flawless means without any blemish whatsoever.

They are true words without also they are solid words without the least bit of shaking building them uses the image of silver purified in a furnace seven times over the been purified again and again and again and again silver that has no loss.

All the impurities been removed and he says that's what the word of God is like that speaks Dawson to the challenge to biblical authority and integrity in our time asked the question. Where do we hear the word of God today. It's in the Bible is what is given, God is not speaking from Avenue in our day is given us the Bible perfectly adequate for all we need to know for salvation through the Holy Spirit speaks applying these words to our hearts and as a result of lack those who want to destroy the word of God attacked the Bible history of the church only been three views of the Bible. One is the classic evangelical view and it simply, this Bible these words we have are the very words of God because of the words of God. They can be trusted is only the words of God. They are flawless to use David Stern. There is no mixture of error or distortion or untruth or flattery or any of these other things to be found in them, what the Bible says God says it comes to us through human error agents but without their trusted as I say this is what was always believed in the past about a say so.

Even the heretics believe it. Heretics misunderstood the Bible and make great mistakes and to be corrected by the church as the church met together to search what the Scriptures really said and search for the will of God in the matter but nevertheless the heretics as well, as those who were Orthodox appealed the Scripture that was the classical view of the last century and spilling over to this one still with us, you have neoliberalism and the view of the orthodoxy which is not altogether different. Even though the neo-orthodox theologians often gave great attention to the Bible and were guided by liberalism, says the Bible is not the words of God.

The Bible is the words of Mayor man we have here things that are very impressive at times, which is in a certain sense. If you use the word loosely not of the theological why use the word loosely things that are inspiring but inspiring, like reading Shakespeare or some other great classical writer. This is just human ideas and possibly the orthodoxy is a little bit differently.

Orthodox excessive the highest revelation we can have and that's why they gave a great authority but they say it's not the word of God because the word of God can't be communicated.

Dawson human words go to some transcendent that's impossible himself what he does is communicate and nonverbal means of what you have in the Bible is the testimony of man in human words that nonverbal communication is no direct connection between these words in God's words, that's the kind of liberalism that has infected the churches and then there's 1/3 position and it's the one really wrestling with today. Unfortunately, even in many so-called evangelical churches is the view that says some sort of compromising type of way while you read the Bible and certainly that's the word of God, or at least much of it is when you read the Bible you also find things that are in error and therefore that's not the word of God that must be the words of man, you have the two together now in proper theology that you do go together in this way God speaks in human words he uses human words assist channel guiding the human writers so they expressed exactly what God wanted to have expressed that's a proper view that's not what this view isn't in the church. The evangelical church today. It's as part of it is true and part of it is all one of us from God. Part of it isn't, and so all we have to do is get the scholars together to decide which is which and circle holding out sounds good, except that in a situation like that.

What happens is that the scholars become God's they become God in the matter of determining the truth. I read it I say well I don't know if the true residence. I go to the scholar in the scholars as well know, that's actually the work of the Deuteronomy Austin, it's not to be confused with the work of the priestly school or the school of Elohim and that what you have to do is understand that it is crept into the text for the Ugaritic sources and that once we have weeded that out and everything else that has been tarnished by now I regret to say this hardly anything left that may be comforting position to begin in this sense, the word of God. In that case doesn't speak any judgmental words against us. You can live with that easily. You don't have any foundation on which to build. That's why those who have understood the Bible to be what the Bible truly is word of God rejected it and say it is utterly him. In other words, to use the term of David words of the Lord in the Bible are absolutely flawless was interesting that it does not only conservative scholars and said that sometimes even on conservative scholars do. I came across an interesting article in Time magazine some years ago which time magazine in a certain sense said that the Bible has been tried and found flawless article titled how true is the Bible and they were examining all of the modern theories and the answers with the conservatives have given to it when it came to the end of the kind of balance why they were writing theology dismisses news reporting.

They said nevertheless, as the Bible has gone through this process of attack by the critics been defended by the others Bible is actually emerged unscathed from the battle flawless use.

David Stern is what time magazine said the breadth and sophistication of diversity of all its biblical investigation were impressive, but it begs the question as it made the Bible more credible or less literalistic feel the ground movement versus challenge would have to say the credibility is suffered about has been some faith is in jeopardy.

Believers will expect something else from the Bible may well conclude that his credibility has been enhanced after more than two centuries of facing the heavier scientific guns that could be brought to bear. The Bible has survived and is perhaps the better for the siege even on the critics own terms historical fact. Scripture see more acceptable now than when the rationalist began their attack. That's an interesting statement from secular magazine yet. Let me not end on that note, I never like to have secularists and the last word, even if their rights. Let me go to an even higher authority in the Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Spurgeon saw the same thing years before time magazine did in his life people and I want to quote from him and his comments on Psalm 12 verse six the Bible has passed through the furnace of persecution, literary criticism, philosophic doubt and scientific discovery, and it has lost nothing but those human interpretations which clung to it as alloy depressions or experience of the saints has tried it in every conceivable manner but not a single doctrine or promises been consumed in the most excessive heat. While it is true the infidels of the ages have tried to destroy this rock were mere human words, they would undoubtedly have succeeded, but the Bible is not that the word of God. It is flawless and, therefore, in the end Voltaire as they themselves who are broken by the rock rather than a breaking it out in three parts of the song giving you two of them first part is an analysis of the words of men. The second part is a statement of the nature of the words of God.

The third part.

Some scholars subsume it in the second is actually a response on David's part. One of the songs are like that two parts making the contrast men dishonest response responses in verses seven and eight, oh Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever, but we can really start about when what is mild is honored among men when you come to the end. You say you find something in this lawn that you find in many of the other songs what you find is that the situation is not changed yet to the end and not only are we to assume that things are the same. David actually says they are continuing the same earlier essay everyone lies to his neighbor or flattering lips speak with deception every boastful Tom says we're going to triumph with our tongues. We own our lives who is our master become to the very end of the Psalm of these wicked people are still centering around still lying still flattering still deceiving, still boasting something has changed and what has changed is the psalmist began by calling out for help, help, Lord.

And God answered and because God answer that he heard his voice comes to the end and says all yes when I think of the word of God. I recognize the vast difference that exists between five and the words of mere man. The words of your matter deceitful.

You can build upon that, but he who builds upon the word of the Lord will stand forever. I come to that. I think of something Tracy while great 19th century bishop of the Church of England set on one occasion in his day the rationalistic theories were bursting upon the church like a flood.

Critics of the Bible were mounting on every hand. The taxes were outstripping the answers.

It was more conservative scholars to deal with at the time. Many shaken and carried away, but not bishop while he said give me a plenary verbal theory of biblical inspiration, with all its difficulties, rather than the doubt. I accept the difficulties I humbly wait for their solution. While I wait. I'm standing on the rock spray father. We look about us and there's nothing in this world of human beings and corresponds to that original rock that we can build upon in culture there's no rock that we can build upon in politics is no rock that we can build upon nationally but you have given us a rock and that rock is your word rock because it is based upon your character which has expressed itself to Austin firm speech we hear the words of man and they lie, return to your word and its truth. We hear the words of man and they flatter, we turn to your word and that this abuse is also all false pretension returned to the words of man and they deceive return to your word and we find that not only do you not deceive or mislead us. You actually lead us to where salvation may be found returned to the words of mere man we find the hosting and boasting without foundation. Return to your word and we find it sober truth it was grace our father to build upon that and not merely by words because our words themselves are weak, but in truth actually studying that word pleasuring it in our hearts, committing ourselves to it, and then going out to live by what we find there. Day by day proving you to be faithful, as indeed you are through Christ.

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