Friday, July 24, 2015

The Vision: Psalm 12:6-7 and Preservation

Note:  Here are some notes from last Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 12:

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Does Psalm 12 support the doctrine of the providential preservation of God’s Word?

I believe the answer to that is “Yes.”  The heart of that comes in v. 6.  God’s word is pure.  It has been made pure by God himself.  It is not an adulterated word.  It is like silver purified in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Notice:  It was not left in a state of impurity and corruption for thousands of years until the right scientific knowledge arose to purify it.  It has always been pure.

Though we might grant that the thrust of v. 7 is about the preservation of God’s people (rather than directly about the preservation of his Word) that is not a point unrelated to the doctrine of the divine preservation of Scripture.  Why can God’s people have confidence in his ability to keep them?  Because the Lord keeps his promises.  He keeps his word.  His Word can be trusted in all generations!

The Geneva Bible notes on v. 5 declare:  “Because the Lord’s word and promise is true and unchangeable, he will perform it and preserve the poor from this wicked generation.”

So, the right interpretation of Psalm 12:7 need not be “either it is about the preservation of Scripture or it is about the preservation of God’s people,” but “both, and.”  This is the way Matthew Poole understood it when he said that the meaning of v. 7 is that God’s preservation refers to “either:  (1) the poor and needy, ver. 5, from the crafts and malice of this crooked and perverse generation of men, and for ever. Or, (2) The words or promises, last mentioned, ver. 6.”

There is a joining here of two great and related doctrines. God keeps his Word and God keeps his people.  God preserves his Word and God preserves his people.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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