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The Probe

Yesterday was one of those funky days. You know, the kind of day where everything just seemed off. I couldn’t quite get my schedule together. I couldn’t quite get focused. I couldn’t quite find the rhythm at which I run the best. I did what I needed to do but everything seemed difficult and I was tired all day. Because I like to be productive, I asked the question all day, “What is going on?” but never got an answer. Then I woke this morning and started reading and everything seemed bland. I asked God, “Will you show me something this morning that will make today different from yesterday?” I was just about to give up on the notion that I would find something to either inspire me or reorient my focus when two passages came together. It was like a flashback where Psalm 12:6-8 reached back and grabbed Psalm 7:9.
In a moment, I realized why I had been out of sorts yesterday. I had become acutely aware of the downside of life and it grew heavy on my soul. The reality is that God “probes the minds and hearts” of people. (Psalm 7:9) When he takes this piercing look, he sees exactly what is going on. That is where Psalm 12 came in. Everyone on earth has one of two focuses. They either honor what is vile (v. 8 ) or they embrace words that have been tested. (v. 6)
Most of us, I suppose, will think of obvious evil when we read the phrase, “what is vile is honored by the human race.” David had a much more common understanding. Notice the activities that drew him to this conclusion in Psalm 12.

  • “No on is faithful anymore.” (v. 1) People had made commitments they no longer kept. They had vowed to follow God, love their spouses and honor contracts but somewhere along the path loyalty got lost.
  • They “harbor deception in their hearts.” (v. 2) Somehow, lying to one another became an accepted community practice. Neighbors lied to neighbors. Leaders used dishonesty to drive agendas. Family members manipulated one another rather than work out healthy partnerships.
  • Boasting was seen as a position of strength. “By our tongues we will prevail.” (v. 4) While they were talking how about great they were, legitimate needs were being ignored. The poor were being taken advantage of. Real needs were being maligned so the truly needy were groaning rather than getting help. Those who had lost compassion were proclaiming victory.

As I took all this in, I realized why I had been in a funk yesterday. I was weary from hearing about the faithlessness, deception and pride of the human race. I saw it at a national level in too many reports and I saw it at a personal level in too many homes.
Fortunately, there is a better way. “The words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” (Psalm 12:6) The thinking of the world system may be off but those who cultivate a working knowledge of the bible find information that has been extensively tested and proven to be effective. It is not subject to the whims of men or the winds of history. It is true today and it will be true tomorrow. All who base their thinking and decisions on this rock will stand firm, seek righteousness, and serve others. They will confidently do so because it has been established. Like gold or silver that has been through the heat and made pure, God’s words have shown themselves to be the genuine article. In the midst of the faithlessness I saw, I was reminded that there are many who have committed to live by time-tested truth no matter what is going on in the world around them.
Today as I read the news, relate to others, and regulate my schedule I believe my focus is going to be more on the truth that cannot be toppled rather than on the schemes of people who can never ultimately succeed.

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