Where Have the Faithful Gone?

     Maybe you have asked yourself, “What has happened to our world?” This question does not require an explanation for anyone that has been an adult for the last several years. Yet, for some of us we would suggest that this unraveling has been happening much longer. If that thought crossed your mind as you survey the landscape of today, God’s Word has some encouragement.

  My title for this article is adapted from the heading given for Psalm 12 in the English Standard Version. Like most of King David’s Psalms, that can be linked to specific situations in his life, this one appears personal. One such situation recorded in 1 Samuel 23 has been suggested as an option. It was during a season when David was a fugitive on the run from King Saul. The condensed version is that people of Keliah were raided by Philistines armies and approached King David and his men for help. Twice David sought the Lord’s leading for his response, once for whether he should help and a second time later on behalf of his men who were feeling the pressure from Saul’s army and hesitant about taking on the Philistine forces. While we cannot pinpoint the exact situation, the scenario here paints a picture of betrayal. Saul learned of David’s location in the city and marshaled his army to attack. David sought the Lord’s confirmation of Saul’s plan and also if the people, that he just helped, would betray him. The answer to both was yes.  

    Keeping in mind the Keliahites treachery after David’s kindness we read what could describe his disappointment. “Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” (Psalm 12:1–2) David was feeling the weight of those that said one thing to him and another thing behind his back. The Bible Knowledge Commentary describes David’s situation in Psalm 12. “Their words were dishonest and therefore untrustworthy. The society had become altogether corrupt. There seemed to be no trustworthy, honest people on whom the psalmist could depend.”

     Regardless of the actual situation, David was questioning “where has the honesty and integrity gone?” His response is instructive for us. David chooses not to make it personal by committing the situation to the Lord. Reading between the lines it seems David understood the times in which he was living. Instead of letting the treachery of others imprison him with bitterness, he chose to live in the freedom of the Lord’s trustworthiness. “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)

     It is in the presence of his God that he finds peace in the midst of the swirling whirlpool of turmoil.  “You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.” (Psalm 12:7–8)  One of the greatest blessings for the believer is the privilege that we have to lean into the Lord during the frustrating seasons of life. David’s disposition did not change because the situation got better. It changed because he chose to see the Lord’s working and focused on that!

    If you are going through a season of frustration, I would encourage you to spend some time reading the Psalms. David and the other psalmist have a way of making God personal in our lives. Regardless of what happens around us, let us remain faithful!

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

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