Introduction - Don't let the Goliaths in our land rob you of faith; defy them in the name of Jesus
Tomorrow is Reformation Day - a day in which we remember how a hopelessly corrupt Europe was transformed by the Gospel. And I use the word "hopelessly" because many in that day thought things were hopeless. The Reformers didn't, but there were many naysayers who couldn't believe that these people were even trying to bring about Reformation. It's too dangerous. It's impossible. It had been tried several times before with no lasting results. Things were so bad in the sixteenth century that many claimed that their discouraging times were a sign that the end of the world was at hand. Immorality, graft, and other forms of corruption were pervasive in the church. Even the pope hosted orgy parties with prostitutes. Mercantalism (a statist form of economics) suffocated the economies of European countries. Crime was high. Politics in most European countries was tyrannical. And there were so many other discouraging things that many Christians had been robbed of hope and faith. They were very discouraged.
But there was a remnant that believed God's Word called for pervasive change and they would not settle for anything less. And a Reformation was spawned by a remnant who had faith that God's grace could achieve the impossible, and so they attempted the impossible. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read about the courage and faith of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden. He was an incredible man of faith who every day called his nation and his soldiers to believe God for impossible things. He himself fought against impossible odds.
And God is raising up a remnant today with the faith of King Gustavus. You know the big names, but there are many unknown people with the same faith. After California legalized killing newly born children, Jim Denison responded to the hopelessness that some people were experiencing by writing an article. It was in March of this year. It was titled, "It Takes Faith To Make A Difference in Discouraging Times."1 I'll just quote one paragraph. He said,
One of my mentors, John Edmund Haggai, often encouraged those he led to “attempt something for God so great it is doomed to failure unless God be in it.” Seeking a moral reformation in a culture that has abandoned biblical morality certainly qualifies.
And I say, "Amen." California is going to need people with faith like that. Most Christians have bailed. Our sister church there has lost over 100 members in the last year - families that are fleeing the state. And you can understand it, from one perspective. And God sometimes does lead people to leave for a new area.
So, what are the impossibilities that we face? Psalm 12 encourages us to identify them and then to defy them by God's grace. The same David who defied Goliath by faith just a few years earlier, identifies new metaphorical Goliaths that had arisen since then. These Goliaths were embedded in Israelite culture and the country desperately needed reformation. But David didn't identify these Goliaths in order to discourage people. No, he identified them to ask God to help him take them on.
And we have plenty of Goliaths today. Is it impossible to make abortion illegal? Sure, from man's perspective. Is it impossible to have integrity in the media, justice in the courts, honesty in politics, or to make counties Christian counties? Yes. But how we identify these Goliaths makes the difference between hopelessness and faith. And I would like to encourage you to fight against our tendency to give in to attitudes of unbelief - what Steve Walker (two weeks ago) very appropriately called liturgies of unbelief, and instead to put on liturgies of faith - in other words, to put on words of faith, actions of faith, encouragements of faith, and prayers of faith.
There is a lot that has been happening in our lifetime that could easily rob us of faith if we allowed it to. Consider the church at large. Liberalism, moral compromise, and a truncated worldview are just three of many problematic issues in the modern church. We live in a time of downgrade. But we cannot allow the downgrade of the church to rob us of faith in God's promise that Jesus will build His church and even the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Refuse to be robbed of faith in Christ's victory.
Another thing that can rob us of faith is how pervasive the woke movement and cancel culture has become. It's hard to be salt and light on Social Media without getting canceled. How many times have my posts been scrubbed by Facebook? I have noticed that they have stopped doing that recently. Maybe it is in response to people bailing.
Paypal has been in the news, but it is just the tip of the iceberg of the persecution that happens in our cancel culture. And if you aren't familiar with the recent Paypal fiasco, I'll fill you in. Three weeks ago (on October 8) they put a clause into their user agreement that reads as follows. It prohibits:
"the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials" that "present a risk to user safety or wellbeing" or contain "misinformation."
It went on to note that what counts as misinformation is at PayPal's "sole discretion" to define. It went on to say that if you violated the policy, PayPal could deduct $2,500 per infraction from the offending user's account. Based on what they consider misinformation, that would be a lot of money swiped from my Paypal account. Well, they got such blowback from left and right that they issued an apology saying that it was a mistake to use the nebulous word "misinformation" and that it wasn't supposed to get into the policy. But even after they removed the word "misinformation" they have retained the ability to fine people for things they consider "intolerance" or "discrimination" - again, as defined by them. Of course, that had been in there since 2021, so that was not a new change. Thankfully, this may be a Goliath that is ready to fall to the 8 or so emerging alternatives to PayPal - like Gab Pay - another of Andrew Torba's attempts to add to the parallel economy. He refuses to become hopeless. I like his attitude. He is developing an alternative economy to replace the cancel-culture giants.
What are some other Goliaths? State Surveillance. I hate this one. It is so contrary to the spirit of early America. Last month (September 11) was Patriot Day - remembering the twin towers terrorist attack in 2001. But calling that day "Patriot Day" now seems like a mockery of the word "patriot" since that event started state surveillance of all citizens on a level that would have made the original American patriots roll over in their graves - or more likely, fight. Surveillance seems like an impossible Goliath to topple, but hey, our God has taken on impossibilities many times in the past. The question is, "Do we have faith?" Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Another Goliath that may well come crumbling down soon is all of the unconstitutional agencies that write most American laws. I am very heartened that it looks like at least three (possibly five) of our chief justices consider the non-delgation doctrine to be the proper original intent of Article I, Section 1 of our Constitution, which says this: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." We'll skip over the limiting nature of "herein granted" (which is also ignored) and just comment on the phrase, "shall be vested," which means that it cannot be delegated. There are plenty of early interpretations of this to show that the non-delegation doctrine was the original intent. Legislative power could not be delegated to courts, the executive office, or to agencies and boards. Justice Kagan admits that if the non-delegation doctrine that was in place until 1935 is true, then the vast majority of what the Federal Government is now doing is unconstitutional.2 She doesn't like that conclusion, but I say, "Yes. It is unconstitutional." So we could very well have a major Goliath fall very soon. Of course, the constitution is routinely violated in other ways by all three branches of government anyway. But Psalm 12 is a passage that calls us to have faith that nothing is impossible with God. That's why David brings these blasphemous Goliaths before God's throne. He's willing to take them on, but he is petitioning God's grace for help.
Whether you are facing the discrimination of big banks against anyone even remotely connected with Second Amendment issues,3 or government schools pushing LGBTQ+ issues onto kids, or state taxation, or medical tyranny, or media bias, or entertainment propaganda, or reverse racism, or the rise of moms being abandoned to single parent homes, or the imposition of 112 genders upon the population, or political cheating, or any number of other Goliaths, this Psalm challenges us to identify the problems (yes), but to also take them to the Lord in faith. And I am beginning to systematically bring imprecations against these Goliaths.
We live in times described by verse 8: "The wicked prowl on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men." I think that is a perfect description of America. Not only has evil multiplied, but vileness like homosexuality has been exalted in our nation. Not just tolerated, but exalted.
Five New Goliaths that David Identified
OK, enough by way of introduction. Let's dig into the Psalm. And we will start with the five Goliaths that David will petition God about. And we can take this as a cue to do the same with our own modern Goliaths.
The Church’s Failure To Be Salt & Light (v. 1)
The first Goliath that was discouraging was the church’s utter failure to be salt and light. Verse 1 says, "Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men."
We are not told how the godly disappeared. Some may have fled the country like David did. I believe this was written when David was fleeing from Saul. Some may have gone underground or simply been scared into silence. And you can see why. In 1 Samuel 22, king Saul had already killed 85 preachers in one day for taking a stand for righteousness. But whatever the cause was, David was extremely troubled with the loss of this godly influence. Where is everyone? Why am I the only one defying this Goliath?
We have a similar problem in America. Where are those who do not covet their neighbor’s wife through pornography, or who do not covet their neighbor’s house or car or in other ways try to keep up with the Joneses? The tenth commandment is violated routinely.
Where are those who never break their promises, or whose word can always be trusted? Many Christians don’t even keep their signed contracts, let alone promises that they make to their families. You may have a Goliath within your own heart that needs to fall.
I don’t think the ten commandments are being kept in the church of Jesus Christ.
We think that we keep the first commandment – thou shalt have no other gods before me. "Yup! We are monotheists." But don't be so sure. Deuteronomy chapters 6 through 26 takes the ten commandments in the order they were given and gives extensive exposition and application of what those commandments mean. And wow are they convicting! Deuteronomy chapters 6-11 gives the exposition of what the first commandment means. And those chapters show that the church violates the first commandment left and right by looking to alternative sources of law than those given by God. The source of your law is your god - by definition. The source of your law is your highest authority. So when Senator Ben Sasse (bless his heart, he is a Christian), but when Senator Ben Sasse (as a radical two kingdom advocate) explicitly rejects God's laws in civics, he has (without realizing it) broken the first commandment. Deuteronmy 6-11 goes on to identify embracing secular education as being a violation of this commandment. You didn't realize that? Yeah, if you send your children to government schools, Deuteronomy says that you are breaking the first commandment. You are not applying the Scriptures to everything you do when you sit in the house, walk by the way, lie down, and rise up. It goes on to say that treating the State as Messiah violates the first commandment. So is failing to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.
But those aren't the only things that should make us cry out, "Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men." Our nation (and even the church) has become calloused to the flow of blood in our land. I don't know how accurate the Pew polls are, but in two studies in June and July of this year they found that 61% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.4 61%! That is stunning! In one sense we shouldn't be surprised since the educational system has been indoctrinating America's children for my whole lifetime. The same Pew poll said that agreement with abortion keeps increasing with the more education that the person has, with 66% of college graduates believing in abortion on demand. But what was saddest was to see the ungodly embrace of abortion within the church. The lowest support for abortion on demand within the church was among white evangelicals, where only 24% supported it (of course any evangelicals supporting it is hideous, but 24%!!!???). It’s much higher among non-white evangelicals. All other Christian groups ranged from 60% supportive to 84% supportive. These are so-called Christians! And statistics like this can do one of two things for you; it can either make you despair, or it can drive you to prayer and action. When the church is in desperate need of Reformation and revival, we must turn to the Lord. Those who are willing to gather together for public prayer (which occurs at Monday noon, Wednesday evening, and once a month on Thursday morning) are in effect defying the giants of the land in the name of the Lord and taking their stand by faith. Those who are part of the new imprecatory prayer network (which will be a private by invitation only network) are just starting to sling some pretty hefty stones at various Goliaths. (We are still in process of identifying all the Goliaths.)
No Integrity In Word (v. 2)
The second thing that drove David to prayer was a lack of integrity in men’s words. Verse 2 says, "They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak." David was quite frustrated with leaders who were used to double-speak, flattery and lack of integrity. He didn’t know who he could trust. If you want to visualize the scary state of a country that no longer says what it means, read George Orwell’s classic book, 1984. Integrity of words is essential to a stable society. My parents drilled into me that my word ought to be as good as gold. Proverbs 15:4 defines a godly man as one who swears to his own hurt and does not change. In other words, when he makes a promise, he keeps that promise no matter what kind of difficulty that might bring. There is no such moral base in our country. Presidents do not keep their word; Congressmen break their promises almost as soon as they are in office. Even Christian politicians often perjure themselves by voting pragmatically rather than constitutionally - as they have taken an oath to do.
But the question is, are we any better in the church? Remember that God says, “Judgment begins in the house of God” (1 Pet. 4:17). Do you bail from your promises and commitments as soon as it gets tough? If the godly do not have absolute integrity of lips, how can we expect our society to? Pray that words and promises will mean what they say in our nation. And by the way, if you want an interesting analysis of how far our country has gone in terms of its speech, compare Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of The English Language of 1828 with almost any modern dictionary and you will see that our language has deliberately banned the theological roots of the English language from its mind. And more recently it is even worse: the New Heritage Dictionary has redefined words in politically correct fashion. The language of our country is serious. And it ought to so grieve us that we cry out to God for the Reformation of the church and society. Any society that lacks integrity in words will fast lose its ability to compete. Honoring of contract law was one of the things that made our nation great. But contract law is meaningless without integrity of speech on the individual level and without a court system willing to back up integrity of speech.
And there are many issues like that which could make you give up. Rather than letting it drive you to despair, it should drive you to prayer. This is yet another Goliath that can only be slain in the power of Yehowah. You can’t change people’s hearts. You can’t create integrity. But God can! That's the point of prayer. And God loves to use little insignificant David's to slay Goliaths.
The Absolutizing of Freedom Of Speech (v. 4)
Related to this is point C. The third thing that drove David to prayer was the humanistic concept of freedom of speech in verse 4. “Who have said, ‘with our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us’?” This is a perfect description of the present day ranting and raving about no restrictions to freedom of speech. (Except that they are not consistent - they want to ban our speech because they have somehow labeled God's black and white as intolerant. They fine bakers, florists, and photographers for not celebrating their homosexuality- so much for free speech) But here's the thing: they keep finding that they don't like each other's freedom of speech either. I got a kick out of the graffiti photographed in your outline (third from the bottom). Someone painted on the wall, "Spread anarchy." And someone was offended by that, crossed it out and said, "Don't tell me what to do." It's symbolic of the irrational conflicts that we are seeing in society. I have seen the freedom of speech argument used to justify child pornography in our schools. They use freedom of speech to justify getting kids just entering puberty to cut off body parts because they have temporarily wanted to be a different gender.
But any of the modern defenses of pornography could have these same words on their lips. “with our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” “Nobody can tell me what I can and can’t say. I am master of my own tongue.” That's what they are saying.
Today we have the sad situation where only the smallest vestiges of God’s lordship in this area are still being enforced, and that is in the area of slander and libel. But logically, the total free speech advocates are demanding that they be able to say anything that they want, and print anything that they want - slanderous or not. George Grant has written a probing analysis of the suicidal positions that the ACLU has taken on this and other areas. It's titled, Trial and Error.5 And that book illustrates the first part of this verse: “with our tongue we will prevail.” They don’t just want freedom for their ungodly speech. They want to prevail against the Lord in all of His restrictions. But the ACLU didn’t invent that. All the way back here in David’s day it was free speech for everyone except believers. Can you see how there is really nothing new under the sun? And if God could defeat it back then, God can defeat it now. Don't get discouraged by the Goliaths in the land.
The Oppression of the Helpless (v. 5)
The fourth Goliath that David defies in this Psalm was oppression of the helpless. David not only models help for the helpless, but He goes to God for help to change a culture that wasn’t prone to care. Verse 5 says,
“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”
We aren’t told who the poor were that were oppressed, or who the needy were. David had witnessed Saul steal land from people, kill 85 preachers in one day, tax the people mercilessly, and disarm the citizenry. Even Samuel was afraid to travel. He complained to the Lord, “What if Saul finds out?” So freedom of travel and gatherings was somehow restricted. The people trembled when Samuel came. They were intimidated into silence. And yet this passage indicates that God was at work. Now I will arise,” says the LORD. God was even then preparing the way. He was preparing the way (get this:) by allowing tyranny, and allowing evil to triumph so that the people would grow to hate it and would be ready for the sacrifices of true liberty. Why does God allow evil to triumph? It's because citizens don't hate evil enough yet. They need to experience its raw side. Romans 1 describes this as giving a people over to a depraved mind - making them sit in their poop for a while. God lets us taste the sad fruits of tyranny to motivate us to want theocracy. God was making Saul’s reign distasteful. He was showing the bitter fruits of godlessness so that He could later bless them with David’s rule. By the time David became king, people were ready for him. They were totally ready.
And in the same way, there is good that has been coming out of Biden's tyranny, medical tyranny, media and corporate tyranny, and all the other forms of evil in our society. What Satan intended for evil, God can use for good. What originally seemed like small compromises that were no big deal have now gone to their logical conclusions, and people are saying, "Yikes! We don’t like this." Even liberals are beginning to tire of intersectionality and wokeness that divides everyone into oppressor and oppressed. That’s a bifurcated Marxist way of categorizing people. Anyway, God knows how to make Goliaths fall. But He won't make them fall until the remnant rises up with the faith of David.
The Legalization of an Anti-Christian Law-Order (v. 8)
The fifth and last thing that drove David to prayer was the legalization of an anti-Christian law-order. Look at verse 8: "The wicked prowl on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men." This is simply giving the logical principle that when vileness is exalted (or honored) by a nation, then vileness will multiply. It makes sense, right? It should be no surprise to us that sexual abuse is on the rise when abusive pornography is legal. Our politicians don’t seem to see the connection, but it is obvious on the face of it. If evil is honored and protected, then evil will multiply. When criminals are coddled and infants are killed we should not be surprised that the moral fabric of our nation is torn apart. Has vileness been exalted in our nation? Yes. Homosexuality, pornography, abortion, socialism, and other vile sins are defended as virtues by politicians, judges and schools. It’s no wonder then that the wicked prowl everywhere seeking their next victims.
When did the poisonous flower of pornography begin to blossom? It’s always been there. But it became bold in seeking victims when the courts honored and protected it. According to a British committee that was commissioned to study the problem of porn, there are 4.5 million porn sites worldwide, with more than half of them being located in America. 43% of Americans (male and female) find porn acceptable. 75% of American parents naively think that their children have never seen porn, but of those 75% of families, 53% of their children (when interviewed) said that they did regularly watch porn. The organization, Enough is Enough, claims that the biggest of the 4.5 million porn sites (Pornhub) had 33.5 billion visits in 2018.6 And all these forms of vileness have been exalted in the courts as a specially protected right. They are being exalted in the classroom. And when the government itself exalts vileness, the wicked lose all fear of prowling and looking for prey. We are in an impossible situation - that is, impossible for man. But what does Reformation Day call us to? It calls us to faith. It calls us to defy the Goliaths in the land in the name of the Lord.
Three Essentials For Taking on the Goliaths in our Land
Faith: These Goliaths are no Match for Jesus (v. 1a)
And as you pray, and as you take actions, three things should characterize your prayers and actions. First, Faith. He says in verse 1, "Help, LORD." What kind of help is he asking for? Is he only asking for help in his Bible study? or help in evangelism? or help in raising a family? No. Sadly, there are many who limit their conception of what God wants to do to private or religious exercises. They have no faith to ask God for change in culture or politics. But this Psalm is clear. David wanted help for his nation. He was asking God to take on the transformation of a culture as His job. He didn't just want personal victory for a few. He wanted Reformation. If you do not believe it is God’s job to transform cultures you will not have the faith to take this prayer on your lips. You are certainly not going to take actions of faith. We need a church stirred up to believe that God’s civil laws continue to apply, that Romans 13 continues to apply, that culture and politics continues to be important to Him; that God is not careless about civic matters. Our help is in the Lord even in the area of politics. And in your outlines I have given five reasons why we can have faith to pray this way. I'll go through them fairly quickly.
He is in covenant with us ("LORD" = Yehowah)
First, the covenant name "Yehowah" (translated with all capital letters "LORD") shows that God is in covenant with us. But the way that name is used, it also shows that God's covenant is comprehensive. Joshua 3:13 calls Yehowah the "Lord of all the earth." Numbers 14:21 promises, "all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Yehowah." God's covenant relationship to me personally and to all the earth is very encouraging. America has broken covenant with God, and God will not hold it guiltless. But we can lay hold of His covenant name.
He is the judge of the whole earth (v. 3)
Second, verse 3 implies that God is judge of all the earth.
He is our protector (v. 5)
Verse 5 says that He is our protector.
He knows how to keep us from stumbling (v. 7)
Verse 7 shows that He knows how to keep us from stumbling. Those are all foundations for faith.
His Word is inerrant (v. 6)
But I want to park on the fifth reason for faith - the inerrancy of Scripture. Verse 6 says, "The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." In other words, there is no dross in the silver of God’s Word. There are no impurities or errors. There is nothing to be embarrassed about in the Bible. And yet Christians are shocked that you would want our society to implement Biblical law. They are embarrassed by it. I remember James Dobson being so embarrassed by the Biblical law calling for the stoning of juvenile delinquents, and he insisted that no one in his right mind would want to implement that law. But I would beg to differ. The juvenile delinquents in New York city that terrorize their parents, kill policemen and commit crimes, need to be punished with the same laws that adults are. It doesn’t take rockets science to figure out that this would inhibit crime much more quickly than coddling them.
If the church is to be able to make a difference in society, we cannot be embarrassed by Biblical law. We have to have faith that it is pure, like silver tried in the furnace, purified seven times. There will be no Reformation of culture until the church once again believes this point. God's going to make the church continue to suffer until the church believes this point. And it will eventually believe this point. Isaiah 42, which prophecies that Christ will establish justice in the governments of the world, says in verse 4, "He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law." The fact that it says Jesus will not be discouraged admits that there will be huge opposition to His law. But it promises that Jesus will establish justice in the earth and the coastlands will wait for His law. That's God's definition of justice in New Covenant times. And we can therefore have faith to claim it here in Omaha.
What happens when we take our eyes off of God’s Word and onto our discouraging circumstances? The same thing that happened to Peter when he tried to walk on the sea of Galillee. He was doing fine till he started basing his judgments on the waves. We need faith. When Peter took his eyes off of Christ on the sea of Galilee and looked at his own inabilities, he began to sink beneath the waves. With his eyes on Christ he did the impossible. He walked on water. When Israel fought against Jericho they accomplished the impossible by faith in Christ. On the other hand, when they tried to tackle the tiny little town of Ai in their own strength, they were devastatingly defeated. Our help is in the Lord, not in politics, not in money, not in education, not in numbers, not in having the right connections, not in the arm of strength; it is in the Lord and we must never forget that as we engage in politics, education and all of the things that I just mentioned. And we must engage, or we don't have faith either. Faith always acts.
Hope: We Are Authorized To Pray For Victory (vv. 3,5,7)
Imprecatory prayers imply God’s intention for victory (v. 3)
But secondly, we must have hope. We must not only have faith that God can do this, but a Biblical hope that He will do this - in other words an optimistic eschatology. Eschatology just means what God has promised about the future. It’s not just an issue of can, but an issue of will. Why would God authorize us to pray the content of verse 3 if it was not His will that this world become converted and liars cease from the land? "May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things." God wants us to pray precisely that in every age because he is willing to hear that in every age. But James says that you have not because you ask not. Imprecatory prayers imply that it is not God’s will that evil should triumph, otherwise we wouldn’t be authorized to pray for the wicked to be cut off. I'm going to be starting an imprecatory prayer group that names names, targets corporations, identifies strongholds, goes after the demonic, and agressively prays God's curses on His enemies. No one but members of this church may join, but if you are interested in being a part of this, let Gary or me know. And if you want to start your own, read Dr. Fugate's book, Biblical Imprecations: Christian's Secret Weapon.7 This will ground you in the theology of imprecations, and you can do your own research on the giants that God is leading you to take on. My research will only be shared with our own prayer group - for obvious reasons.
And by the way, these evildoers who are cursed by David can be cut off by being converted through the Gospel since Christ as their substitute was cut off from the land in their place - that is, if they put their faith in Him. But either way they are cut off. But the main point is that if God calls us to pray that evildoers be cut off from the face of the earth, then it must be God’s will that it happen. And God promises that if two or three gather to pray anything according to His will by faith, God will answer. That gives us hope.
God’s promises to the oppressed imply His intention for victory (v. 5)
Secondly, why would God authorize us to pray verse 5 if it was not His will for the righteous to ask for victory and to be preserved?
'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the need, now I will arise,' says the LORD; 'I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.'
That gives hope. He is promising to do it.
God’s preservation of the godly through generations implies His intention for victory (v. 7)
Thirdly, we have hope for the future of America because God authorizes us to pray and to declare by faith the truth of verse 7:" You shall keep them, O LORD, you shall preserve them from this generation forever." Too many times we lack hope for the future because we have had so many set-backs in the past. But hope is not based on what has happened in the past or even on what is possible. When these words were said, there was nothing that seemed possible. But David took hope not in what was seen, but in the God of all hope. He made declarations based on God’s Word. There are churches around America that are beginning to make such declarations of faith and declarations of hope in the future. We can pray in faith and we can pray in hope.
Commitment: We Must Desire To Be The Antithesis Of The World
But if our prayers are to avoid hypocrisy, then we must not only pray from faith, and from hope, but also from commitment. The farmer who prays for a harvest without plowing, planting, watering, or doing any of his other responsibilities cannot expect his prayers to be answered - period. But the praying church of today acts just as foolishly as a praying farmer who doesn't plow and plant. They just pray and do not act. That was not the way with David.
This Psalm tells us not only that our lack of action to be salt and light in America have led to this present evil time, but that renewed action can make a difference. Praying that God close down abortion clinics is not enough. There must be commitment. Commitment might look like pestering your elected representatives to quit ignoring the murder of abortion, picketing at the abortion clinics, handing out tracts at abortion clinics, talking other churches into supporting End Abortion Now Nebraska, sending money to Jarrod, or taking other actions of faith. I appreciate the actions of faith that are being taken by the Mingonet’s against vaccine tyranny. Look at the actions implied in these verses.
Committment to be godly (v. 1)
Verse 1 says that the godly bailing out have led to this sad state of affairs, but the implication is that if the godly begin to be involved in holy and faithful ways that we will see a difference. He was certainly committed to being involved and godly. Lot (as one person) could have made a difference in Sodom, but by failing to be salt and light the only thing that happened was that he became compromised and he lost his family. But look at the difference that one person could have in Nineveh. The entire city of Nineveh got converted! And that was in the Old Covenant! We have much more hope in the New Covenant! Look at the difference that a small handful of faithful Christians were able to have in Babylon. Daniel, Shadrack, Meshech and Abednego knew that they couldn’t make a difference by themselves, but with God they were a majority. And you can see the miraculous results of their faith in culture. In Daniel 3 Nebuchadnezzar makes Biblical religion a protected religion. That was an impossibility; but it happened! In Daniel 4 he is converted and makes a public declaration of faith and declares Yehowah's ways to be the ways of justice. That's an impossibility; but it happened! In fact, that is the explanation of why so many Babylonian laws look identical to Biblical law. Liberals say the Bible copied from Babylon, but Biblical laws were written centuries before Nebuchadnezzar even existed. In Daniel 6 Darius makes a decree that all nations fear the God of the Bible. That was the entire empire of Persia. Don’t see the Goliaths of America as impossible for God. All it takes is a faithful minority to be bold and to get involved, and huge differences can be made with God’s blessing.
So we need to first of all commit to being godly (verse 1).
Committment to glorify God with our speech (vv. 2-4)
Secondly, we need to commit to glorifying God with our speech (verses 2-4). We can only complain to the Lord to do His job in this area (as verses 2-4 are doing) if we have already sought to glorify the Lord with our speech. If we lack integrity, we cannot sincerely ask God to be changing the integrity of others. There must be commitment on our part.
Committment to minister to the oppressed - to be involved in the pro-life movement (v. 5)
Thirdly, the church needs to commit to minister to the oppressed. That’s what is needed to reverse verse 5. Do we do anything on behalf of the unborn, widows, or orphans.
Committment to exalt God’s law-order (vv. 6,8b)
Fourth, we must be committed to God’s law order. We cannot sincerely pray against vileness that is exalted among the sons of men if we are opposed to God’s law order being applied to society ourselves. You can’t pick and choose among God’s commands. And so praying this Psalm logically commits us to exalting God’s law in the nation. Vileness can only be defined in terms of God’s law. We must be committed to putting on the opposite of verse 8.
Three Concluding Thoughts
Let me end with the three concluding thoughts. Though the wicked may triumph for a time in America, Psalm 2 reminds us that they will not triumph forever. 2 Timothy 3 tells us that perilous times were to come in the last days leading up to AD 70 with wickedness growing, but Paul added in verse 9, “but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” I think we can expect that to be true in America too - that there will come a tipping point where the wicked will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all. I think right now people are beginning to see the folly or irrationality of the woke culture. Even though the humanists have been triumphing against Christianity on issue after issue, it is beginning to alienate the populous against their radical ways. Satan tends to defeat himself with his own victories. As the fire turns up on a sleeping church, the church may come to life in God’s providence and perform great exploits for God. Pray that that would happen. But in any case, this psalm is not a funeral dirge for the church. It is a prayer that God change our situation around.
Secondly, don’t take a “who cares” attitude about our nation. Groan. You don't understand the spirit of Reformation day if you don't groan over evil as the Reformers did. Groaning shows you aren't satisfied with the status quo. Groan as David groaned over moral failures. Romans 8 says that if we are praying in the Spirit He will make us groan. Yearn for liberty from tyranny as verse 5 talks about. Groaning over sin and yearning for liberty glorifies God. We cannot be indifferent to Covid tyranny or any of the other tyrannies that we have already outlined.
Lastly, be aware of the vastly different worldviews that humanists and Christians have. What David was grieved over caused the humanists to rejoice. What David rejoiced in caused the humanists to grieve. Don’t think that there will ever be a peace treaty between the two. Don’t try to make humanism happy. Don't make a peace treaty with Goliath. It won't work. The Lordship issue brought up in verse 4 (last phrase) is really the nub of the issue. Are we lord or is God Lord? Is there anything that has substituted its lordship for God's Lordship? For some, the state is lord, not God.
This Psalm is a call for the church to be neither pessimistic nor care free, but to have a realistic perspective of what God needs to accomplish if America is to prosper. Pray this prayer. Identify the Goliaths of our land and defy them in the name of Jesus. Amen.
For an interesting article that discusses this, see https://www.theregreview.org/2020/02/29/saturday-seminar-is-most-of-federal-government-unconstitutional/ ↩
For example, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo have engaged in discrimination against firearms dealers. For more, see https://www.nssf.org/articles/waking-up-to-woke-corporate-discrimination/ ↩
July study: https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2022/07/06/majority-of-public-disapproves-of-supreme-courts-decision-to-overturn-roe-v-wade/#americans-views-of-abortion June study: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/13/about-six-in-ten-americans-say-abortion-should-be-legal-in-all-or-most-cases-2/ ↩