For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.
Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary provides the introduction to our meditation.
When piety decays times really are bad. He who made man’s mouth will call him to an account for his proud, profane, dissembling, or even useless words. When the poor and needy are oppressed, then the times are very bad. God himself takes notice of the oppression of the poor, and the sighing of the needy. When wickedness abounds, and is countenanced by those in authority, then the times are very bad. See with what good things we are here furnished for such bad times; and we cannot tell what times we may be reserved for. 1. We have a God to go to, from whom we may ask and expect the redress of all our grievances. 2. God will certainly punish and restrain false and proud men. 3. God will work deliverance for his oppressed people. His help is given in the fittest time. Though men are false, God is faithful; though they are not to be trusted, God is. The preciousness of God’s word is compared to silver refined to the highest degree. How many proofs have been given of its power and truth! God will secure his chosen remnant, however bad the times are. As long as the world stands, there will be a generation of proud and wicked men. But all God’s people are put into the hands of Christ our Saviour; there they are in safety, for none can pluck them thence; being built on Him, the Rock, they are safe, notwithstanding temptation or persecution come with ever so much force upon them.
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
Thankfully this doesn’t necessarily describe the general situation here in the United States, though we all can likely identify specific instances where it tragically does. However, who can deny the almost exact correspondence between these verses and what we now see occurring in our nation’s capital and the cesspool that surrounds it? As we learn ever more about the moral corruption rampant in our centers of institutional power how can we but shudder at the likely consequences of such infantile incompetence and unfettered immorality?
May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
The shock of recognition is almost physical as we experience the daily deluge of lies peddled by our leaders and the media who serve them. They flit from one unfounded accusation to another, pretending that the last collapsed lie never happened and the current lie is undeniable truth. We are told that certain people are “guilty until proven innocent” while others are “innocent regardless of their obvious guilt.” Human lives are destroyed without remorse as political payback. Those who have most abused their privilege remain safe in their positions of social, political and commercial power. I sometimes fear that the corruption runs so deep that reform is no longer possible.
“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
Perhaps the day of reckoning will come when all that has supposedly been done “for the poor” will be exposed as the inhuman evil that it actually is. People who have driven “the poor” into despair, violence and unending poverty to enhance their raw political power may someday have to account for their actions. This is unlikely in our fallen world but can be expected come the Judgement.
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
The Lord’s words are indeed flawless. However, even in our supposed institutions of Christianity they are ignored if not mocked and denied. They are twisted into justification for whatever policy serves the purpose of increased power and expanded cultural chaos.
You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
It is a great mystery just how the Lord “keeps the needy safe” when they are surrounded by the evil corruption practiced by their supposed benefactors. Regardless, it is our duty to seek reforms that will restore dignity, hope and opportunity for those who find themselves in poverty.