By Randy Harshbarger
Uncle Sam points a finger and says: “I want you.” The Marines are looking for a “few good men.” The Lord is too. The Lord is looking for men and women of faith and righteousness who will stand in the gap, wield the sword of the Spirit effectively against Satan and sin, and contend for the purity and simplicity of the gospel. Consider the cry of David long ago, as he too asked for a few good men.
The twelfth Psalm, one of many by King David, pleads for a return to the Lord, as sin and rebellion were the order of the day. Much of what is spoken of in this chapter could very well fit today’s society. Indeed, the wickedness of our age should make every Christian cry out as David did, for a return to principles of godliness and decency. James 4:4 says: “Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.” Friendship with the world spells disaster for the child of God. Any courting of that which is against God will cause us to be lost.
David said, “Help Lord, for the godly man ceases to be” (v. 1). Yes, the number of godly men and women seems to be diminishing. Too many are running toward destruction in their mad pursuit of life (Matt. 7:13-14; Phil. 3:19). There is a great need for people who will love the Lord and his word and will dedicate themselves to living according to the oracles of truth and honor. The influences of the world are hardly subtle. Without shame, sin is flaunted on television, in the movies, and in advertizing (for almost every product). Christians are constantly bombarded with the message that says, “If you think it is right, then it is right.” Godly men and women must cry out as faithful watchmen (Ezek. 33:1ff). A constant diet of filth will adversely affect anyone who does not take steps to counterbalance such influences (1 Cor. 15:33).
David said concerning the children of men: “They speak falsehood everyone with his neighbor” (v. 2). There is no longer a premium on honesty. Too many people “speak falsehood.” Liars abound in the government, in business, and sometimes even among brethren. If that possibility does not exist, why did Paul warn against it (Eph. 4:25)? Falsehood and dishonesty will bring about the downfall of our nation (Prov. 14:34). Liars should fear the eternal torment awaiting them (Rev. 21:8). Psalm 12:6 says: “The words of the Lord are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” Precious metals must be refined by fire to rid them of dross. The words of the Lord are always true and pure. “As for God, his way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in him” (2 Sam. 22:31). There is no impurity in what the Lord says. In contrast, consider the filth of the world. Cursing and using God’s name in vain is simply a way of life for many. “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Prov. 30:5). The speech of the Christian must edify rather than tear down (Eph. 5:4). We need to be careful what we say and how we say it. This is true in our dealings with people in the world and especially true with our families and brethren.
Psalm 12:8 says: “The wicked strut about on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.” The wicked seem to delight in their debauchery. Jeremiah (6:15) lived in a world that had forgotten how to blush. Sin has become such a way of life that nothing is thought about it any more. This mind set spills over into the church. The Corinthians (Christians) were blase’ about the sin among them. Paul exhorted them to correct the matter and they eventually did. Refusing to do so weakened them spiritually. The same is true of us today. “Vileness might be exalted” by the world but it must never be condoned by God’s people. Clear teaching needs to be done that extols God’s will concerning the works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-24). Application to things such as dancing, principles of modesty, and social drinking needs to be made. Let us cry out for truth and righteousness and be sure we live lives of conformity to God’s will rather than the world’s (Rom. 12:1-2).
Yes, the Lord wants men and women who will do his will. Let us purify ourselves by his word and remember that the Lord will preserve those who seek the way of truth.
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 14, p. 426
July 16, 1992