Today, I want us to take a look in the Bible at Psalm 12
Psalm 12 (NIV)
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
One of my favorite shows to watch when I was a kid was Sesame Street. I can remember watching it each and every morning before I would go get on the bus to go to Orange Elementary School. Even though that has been more than a quarter of a century ago, there are still some specific scenes from that show that still stand out in my mind. I can remember this one scene as though it was yesterday.
Kermit the Frog is inside on a cold winter’s day, warming himself in front of a fire. Grover knocks wildly on the door, announcing his arrival. He is complaining: “It’s cooooold out here! I can’t stand the cooold!” Kermit keeps trying to break in, but Grover complains all the more loudly and persistently, until, at last, Kermit hollers, “Grover, come inside!”
“Oh,” says the beloved monster. And into the shelter of Kermit’s warm living room he comes.
The lesson that I took from this scene is that if something’s not right, look for the best place to go to fix it and then go get it fixed. If you are cold, go where it is warm and don’t be afraid to go there boldly.
Our generation of believers is a bit like Grover, me thinks (like what I did there?). We cry out, as in Psalm 12, “Lord, it’s so sinful out here. People are so mean. Everyone lies and flatters and deceives just to get what they want!” We keep complaining and shivering in the sinful cold of our earthly night.
Meanwhile, God, like Kermit, has just what we need. “The words of the LORD are pure words, flawless like silver refined in a furnace or gold purified seven times” (v. 6). It will do us no good to whine, complain, and wring our hands about the “cold” conditions of this wintry world if we’re not willing to “come inside” and warm ourselves at the fire of God’s truth.
God, David insists, “will keep” His Word and “guard us” with it. But we must come to it, shelter in it, derive light and warmth and truth from it.
The Word of God is the shelter we need against the “vileness” (v. 8) of our sinful age. Only the Word can revive and renew us, and equip us with grace to love our neighbors and serve them as best we can. So you have a Bible. You read it from time to time. You’re even part of a Bible study group. Sometimes you even pray, even somewhat regularly.
None of that will be of any benefit to you against the threats of wickedness and sin unless you “come inside” the Word of God and live there, and let it live in you (Col. 3:16), so that you obey its teachings and entrust yourself entirely to the Lord.
If the world’s feeling a little cold and threatening, don’t dwell there in the cold. Come inside!