BITE: The Lord Arises as a Warrior…

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
  The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
  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. Psalms 12:5-8 [ESV]

Verse 5 tells us what God says when he hears the psalmist’s cry for help. The psalmist is not alone, but belongs to a group of people who are poor and needy. They suffer from the lies and threats of the wicked. God promises to stand up for them and protect them.

God is like a Warrior who comes to the rescue of his people when they need him. Verse 5 has different ways of being translated because the last verb can mean different things. The first part of the verse says: ‘I will save them’, which means God will keep them safe. But the next part says: ‘he blows at them’, and this can be good or bad. It can be good if he blows at those who want his help, like he is breathing hope into them (that’s what nrsv says). Or it can be bad if he blows at those who are mean to his people, like he is blowing them away (that’s what niv says). Some people think the bad meaning is better because ‘pwḥ’ is a word that can mean ‘to insult’.

You know, some people are just bad. They lie and cheat and hurt others. But not God. His word is perfect. It’s like pure gold or silver. That means I can trust Him. God said He would take care of His own and the other poor folks who suffer because of those who are evil. I believe God. I know He is true to His word, even when it looks like the wicked are winning and others seem to support the wrong the evildoer commits.

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