Words in the Fire
By Lee Jones
“You sit on a throne of lies” applies to more than just the unkempt mall Santa in the movie Elf. We could truly say that every sinner has seated himself or herself on a throne of lies, from which they sit in unjust judgment on others.
The license of such wicked people is in David’s imprecatory crosshairs. In the midst of his condemnation of abusive liars, David reveals again the absolute holiness of God.
Despite times of extreme turmoil, YHWH has never allowed His chosen people to be lost either to the cruelty of the wicked or even their own rebelliousness.
“They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak,” David says in verse 2, and calls on God to cut off those same lips in verse 3. They are not only lying, but they’re boasting too. These liars and boasters have snuffed out the godly people, overshadowing their witness with their sin. Who can help when there seems no way out.
YHWH the only righteous speaker can and will. His word not only created everything there is, but He speaks truth to mankind. It’s against His nature to do otherwise.
David describes YHWH’S word in an interesting way. “The words of the LORD are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times,” verse 6. Precious metals are never pure at the outset. They are often alloyed with other materials, and they have to be refined by heating away the dross.
The level of refinement David mentions here is also worth noting. The number seven often connotes perfection in scripture. The more a metal goes in the refining furnace, the purer it gets. David is equating God’s word with the purest conceivable metal he can imagine. This doesn’t mean that david believes there’s impurity in God’s word. David is making a value comparison, as in Psalm 19 where he says God’s word is sweeter than drippings of the honeycomb, even though we all know we don’t eat the pages of scripture. David was a poet writing poetically about his God.
The testimony of God is purer and more trustworthy than silver fired to absolute, 100% perfection, and we should value it accordingly. And the truth-telling God of All There Is will stand up for His people, as verses 5 and 7 say.
But David knows that YHWH’S deliverance is more than just temporal, it’s forever. Despite times of extreme turmoil, YHWH has never allowed His chosen people to be lost either to the cruelty of the wicked or even their own rebelliousness. Instead, as Romans 8:1 and 8:33 say, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and, if YHWH is for us, who can be against us?
David is anchored on that promise throughout his entire life. Even as he calls on God to dispatch the wicked, he knows YHWH is sovereign over His creation, and that includes the enemies of His covenant people.
Let the pure and tested words of YHWH lift you up during your trials. The secret of contentment is delight in God’s nearness and the knowledge that He loves His children and delivers them from distress.
Glory to God alone.