Sometimes I think it can’t get any worse than it is right now. Or that it’s never been this bad. Psalm 12:8 reminds me that it’s been this way for thousands of years. On one hand, that sure is a discouraging thought on its own. But despite humankind’s obsession with and acceptance of evil, hope and encouragement come from knowing God has remained faithful all this time. If the evil of the past hasn’t knocked God out, the evil of the present sure isn’t going to either. God has remained on the throne. God cares about the needy and the oppressed. God will judge the wicked. God is and always has been worthy of our praise, adoration, and obedience.
Verse 1 implies that God has not been answering the psalmist’s prayer. I love the honesty we can go to God with. The psalmist is basically saying, “Hey God! Answer me! I know you can! But you haven’t been! I am suffering! I am struggling! Have mercy on me! Hear my prayer!” With full use of exclamation points in the emotion behind this prayer.
We often forget when we read the Psalms that these were written in a real time and a real place. That real time and real place was God’s Old Testament people of Israel that he had made a covenant with (which you can read more about here). They were an earthly nation chosen by God to shine his light to the rest of the world. Within this relationship, an agreement was made (the Mosaic Covenant or “old covenant”) where Israel was to obey God’s commands and if they did, their nation would prosper. But if they worshiped other gods (which they did often!), they would be under God’s judgment and the nation would falter. Most of the years of Israel that the Old Testament spans is of the faltering variety, not the prospering variety. In fact, with the exception of a very brief window of time (David and Solomon’s reign), Israel got its rear end repeatedly kicked by the neighboring nations and the regional superpowers. It’s important to keep this context in mind when we read the Psalms, especially one like Psalm 2.
When I got married on June 19, 2004, I thought my sexual purity problems were in the rearview mirror for good.
I had been porn-free for over two years, was leading sexual purity small groups, and had regular accountability. I was also reading Christian sexual purity books that told me if I starved my eyes from lustful looks and images, there would be a “sexual payoff” in my marriage. My wife and I were both virgins when we got married, and I was ready for this payoff.
Guest author Daniel Arnold shares of his experiences at The Outreach (of the City Rescue Mission of Lansing), including interviews with other clients and how you can help!
It’s a line often heard in well-intentioned lessons on sexual purity:God created sex. It’s His. Pornography and premarital sex are just distortions of what God made that is good: sex within marriage. Those sexual desires you feel are good, you just need to channel them into marriage. (Or as often said, “toward your wife.”) All of the above is true and I have taught most of it myself in bits and pieces. But there are some major shortfalls to this type of teaching and mindset.