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  • Psalm Twelve

    Help me, Lord.
    Your children are falling away from the path,
    your children are losing faith.

    They are gossiping against each other,
    they say one thing to their neighbor's face
    and another behind their back.

    I know you will silence the tongues of the wicked,
    I know you will punish those who speak lies.

    I know you will rise up to defend the poor and the needy,
    I know you will defend the oppressed and keep them safe.

    I know this because your words are pure and righteous, Lord
    I know you will preserve them from this evil influence.

    The wicked men are the leaders of this perversion,
    and those who follow are as wicked in heart as they.

    The children of Israel in the old testament had what is often called a "roller coaster ride" of faith. They would receive a great leader, such as David, and everyone would renounce their sins and fall in line, offering sacrifices to the Lord and swearing they would be loyal to their king and their God. Unfortunately, it never lasted.

    And the funny thing is, it was never an overt defiance to the Lord. It began with Lust or Avarice, the sins of desiring something someone else had, because it looked better than what they had. It might be a new cloak or a new plow, usually something innocuous. Coveting led to jealousy, jealousy led to envy, and we all know where envy leads....gossip. "Wow, ever since he got that new plow, he acts like he is so much better that us." or "He thinks he is so lucky to have her for a wife, but I've heard.....". You can finish that one for yourself, can't you?

    When the people were focused on God, they didn't have time to gossip. They were to busy doing the things they ought to be doing to worry about what someone else was doing. These were the mountains of Israel, the peaks of their relationship where they were closest to God.

    Somehow, they always found their way back to the valleys. Maybe it was a problem of leadership. Poor old David was a shepherd with a colorful military past. [The Goliath thing was still talked about.] But the thing about military leaders is they are so used to people obeying orders, they don't think to check up on them. In the military, as well as in civilian life, that is a mistake.

    So maybe the problem was the leaders. Or was it the people? Do we ever really know what was going on in the minds of others? Can we really be content to live out our lives and not envy what someone else has?

    It seems that every time you let your eyes wander, you step away from God. I think David was asking God to get people focused on him.

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