This morning I was reading the morning office and the words from Psalm 12 caught my attention.
1 Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing!
The faithful have vanished from the earth!
2 Neighbors lie to each other,
speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts.
3 May the Lord cut off their flattering lips
and silence their boastful tongues.
4 They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content.
Our lips are our own—who can stop us?”
5 The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless,
and I have heard the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them,
as they have longed for me to do.”
6 The Lord’s promises are pure,
like silver refined in a furnace,
purified seven times over.
7 Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation,
8 even though the wicked strut about,
and evil is praised throughout the land.
This is one of the Psalms that I really love. David really gets what God’s intentions are for the human community and regrettably what we all too often experience in this distorted world.
There is part of this psalm that along with another passage from Zechariah 13:9 that talks about God’s promises and about his people in terms of precious metal.
This third I will bring into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ "
And all the talk of precious metal makes me think of the attraction to shiny things that my daughters have.
God’s promises should be dangling off us like precious jewelry. And I guess they should be attractive.
The passage from Zechariah then goes on to describe that we ourselves will be as gold and pure silver. And we too are called on to become precious and pure as we allow God to refine our lives.
It makes me think of the word “Bling”. How different the sense of that word is from what God intends us to be. We are not to just be showy and ostentatious. Our attractiveness comes from the way we wear the promises of God – how we respond to them and live them out. So lives of integrity, not sham; lives that show God’s pure love for the oppressed and needy, not just empty glitter.
I am not one for wearing a lot of jewelry but I think I would like very much to be wearing the promises of God to the needy in ways that show. I would like to be refined by God till I am solid and pure and precious – an ornament of attraction – drawing the eye of an onlooker to God as well as a delight to God who fashioned me.