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September 16, 1996

Bad Words and Good Words

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Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception… . And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. PSALM 12:2, 6
Psalm 12 is all about communication. It contrasts the unbelievable deception that continually rolls off the lips and tongues of wicked men with the flawless words of the Lord.
Our world is full of talk. We hear it on the radio, on TV, around the dinner table, at the grocery store, over the telephone, at the ballgame, at the office, and in our cars. Wherever there are people, there is talk.
Unfortunately, much of the talk we hear falls under the category of “harmful words.” Boasting, flattery, lies—there’s no end to the barrage. Psalm 12:4 indicates that it’s even possible for people to win battles with their words—”We will triumph with our tongues,” they say. “We own our lips—who is our master?”
They’re wrong, of course. They don’t own their lips; they’re owned by the God Who created them, Who can hear every word that comes out of them. God is like a giant listening station—His antenna is up, and He intercepts and filters every word ever uttered.
He doesn’t just listen, however. This passage indicates that He does two things: He protects the righteous from those who malign them (v. 5), and He speaks words that are flawless, pure, and refined (v. 6). This suggests that we ought to have our radars up for dishonest words and that we ought to have our eyes trained on God, because we can be assured that His words contain truth and carry weight.
It’s sometimes easy to think that God’s Word—the Bible—is reserved for Sundays. But the deceptive speech that goes on all around us isn’t reserved for Sunday; in fact, it mostly happens from Monday through Friday. As a result, our need to be connected to God’s Word is an everyday need. If we fail to meet that need, we’re setting ourselves up to be deceived and maligned. Are you spending time in God’s Word every day?

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