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Lowell Brueckner

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February 12 - 18 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


February 12

Psalms 12:2-3

2.  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3.  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:

     How much of what is called fellowship today is actually what the Psalmist called vanity? What do you hear when church people gather in fellowship halls around a cup of coffee? The double-minded man’s hobby is Christianity, but most of his thoughts, time and energy are involved in worldly pursuits. Is it any wonder he seldom speaks of God, even when in company with his fellow Christians? Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Double-mindedness and flattery are brothers. The one, whose mind is stayed on Christ, speaks the truth to his neighbor. He, who looks for earthly advantage, flatters to gain his end.
     Flattery is the art of speaking well of our fellow man for selfish motives. I recall a young flatterer who used to visit us, but was looking for a place of ministry. The flattery ceased once it was clear that no opening would be given. Then, he turned to slander. The flatterer will build your ego, while he uses you to satisfy his. It is flesh reciprocating flesh and there is much of it today, but God hates the exaltation of flesh. Flattery is like a condemned tree. Let every Christian separate himself from its shade, lest it fall on him.

February 13

Psalms 12:3-5

3.  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4.  Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
5.  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

     This is a day of proud tongues. Some speak of positive confession, by which one can prevail with his tongue. It seems to me that they have made their lips to be sovereign lord and god. In all segments of life, men seek advantage over one another through the power of speech. He who is most gifted in debate is declared to be winner. He who delivers the pitch persuasively, sells. He, who is most oratorical, is most popular. Beware the salesman, religious or otherwise, whose emphasis is the tongue. Such knowledge is superficial, arrogant and self-governing. Paul said his preaching was not with persuasive words of men’s wisdom, but in power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost. He said, “I will know, not the WORDS of them that are puffed up, but the power, for the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
     Help, Lord! Let God arise from this Babel of man-exalting speech and come to the aid of unlearned and ignorant men. Moses was tongue-tied. Jeremiah was a babe in speech. “They shall all be taught of God.”

February 14

Psalms 12:6-8

6.  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7.  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
8.  The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

     Talk is not cheap when it comes to speaking God’s word. With God’s word comes refinement. It is a tremendous process to refine silver once, but God’s word must be refined seven times. All guile, flattery, exaggeration, pride, and human dross must come to the surface to be burnt off. The words of the Lord are purer than silver refined seven times. Where is the preacher determined to stand before people with the pure word of God in his mouth? He will know the refining fire of God. He will eat the book that he prophesies. It will digest and flow through his veins and become a part of every cell of his being.
     “Save yourselves from this untoward generation’” May God keep His word and people separate from an evil age. “Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse,” the apostle said, but let the word of God stand apart in its eternal purity, untarnished from surrounding influences. May God through His refining process keep his people pure also. May the Lord Jesus wash our feet and may we wash each other’s feet continually, in order to stay free from the clinging worldly dust. We need a testimony of the pure word through pure lives, in a day when the wicked gloat over every new demonstration of vileness. Help, Lord!

February 15

Psalms 13:1-3

1.  How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
2.  How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
3.  Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

     I would entitle this Psalm, “A Cry for Personal Revival”. One must be totally honest and have a full dependence on God to sing a Psalm like this. A man, who has trusted in God’s mercy, wrote it and he could be content with nothing less than the face of God. Let others go to the polluted cisterns, he who trusts in God will wait in desperation and longing, until the pure spring of heaven bubbles through his soul.
     He may have waited long, but he will wait longer, though it seems he can wait no more. “To whom shall we go. Thou...” His quest is the shining face of God to dispel the dark mists that have swept over the soul. The night seems to extend into eternity. Have you ever groped for the light, while enveloped by clouds of doubt and fear? Do you know times when sorrow is a daily companion, when all evidence seems to confirm that you have been handed over to your enemy for buffeting?
     What is there to do but pray? The truster’s prayer is interjected with “oh’s”. He begs and pleads. The eyelids close, not in drowsiness, but in disconsolation and despair. Is this the sleep of sorrow that the disciples experienced in Gethsemane (Luke 22:45)? Make no mistake, life-and-death struggles often beset the Christian’s soul. There is no method given, by which one might overcome this darkness. God alone is the answer. Mental attitudes will not suffice.

February 16

Psalms 13:4-6

4.  Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5.  But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
6.  I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

     Consider the enemy. Hell in hatred commissions its servants, whether they are spirits or men, against him who trusts in God. How they plot to destroy God’s good purposes in a man! They aim their arrows at the heart, vexing and boasting of victory over him. Should they ultimately prevail and gather for a victory celebration? These are the arguments of prayer.
     However, thank God, there is unshakable evidence of things not seen. God cannot abandon the trusting soul, who depends on His mercy. Though improbably, the mother may forget her suckling child, but it is the greatest impossibility that God should fail the trusting one. It is as likely that God topple from His throne. The rejoicing will come along with the deliverance. The clouds will roll away and the enemies will fall back, as the light shines through. Songs will flourish. Benefits will flow from the good nature of the Lord. The eyes will open in reality, he will see the face of the Lord again, and with it, life will course through the whole being. Pray on, oh ye disconsolate. Sing, oh barren. Whisper, Hannah, the heavy syllables of the bitter soul, who can be satisfied with nothing less than a womb filled with God’s bounty. Let the persecuting enemy drive you to the Lord. “And the Lord remembered her, wherefore it came to pass...”(see 1 Samuel 1:7-20)

February 17

Psalms 14:1-4

1.  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2.  The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4.  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

     There is the confessing atheist, who openly denies the existence of God, and there is the practical atheist, who may or may not verbally deny God. It is the latter, with whom the Psalmist is dealing. The practical atheist denies God by his manner of reasoning, in his habits and by his way of handling the affairs of life. He demonstrates on a daily basis that God is not a serious consideration.
     The Holy Spirit of scripture calls this man a fool. In his heart, he says there is no God. Though his mouth may speak hypocritically of a belief in God, it will betray him in its more honest times. His deeds will also. He does not pray or seek God and there is no evidence of spiritual understanding.

February 18

Psalms 14:3-7

3.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4.  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
5.  There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6.  Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
7.  Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

     The practicing atheist has no understanding of God. He ignores God, drawing from other resources or from his own well. It is totally against nature that a created being should deny his Maker. Man must purposely resist and rebel against truth to arrive at such a state. He becomes corrupt and unnatural in all his ways. His works are evil and filthy. He is a man, who has removed God from his nature.
     The kind of atheism, proposed in this Psalm, is universal. All have been corrupted and have forgotten God. In God’s omniscient search for any, among the men, He found none. All are gone astray, they are all together become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    Still, he speaks of some, who are righteous. He calls them a generation, not in respect of an age, but in respect of “genes”. They are not merely children of men, but a new generation, a new people by means of a new birth. They are born of God, who once were part of the corrupted children of men and the atheistic all. Now they are recreated and set apart.


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