Testing the Truth
Psalm 12:6
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

The Psalmist is telling of the Word of God, and contrasting it with the words of men. He tells of those who speak vanity. "With flattering lips and a double heart do they speak." He wants something better, and finds it in the Word of the Lord. For in contrast with man's weakness and falsehood there was the Divine promise immediately made, "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now," etc. May that be depended upon! May we take heart? Yes, "For the words of the Lord are pure words," etc. So then, we may apply this text to the Bible.

I. BY THE PROLONGED AND SEVERE CONFLICT IT HAS HAD WITH ALL THE EVIL OF OUR WORLD. There are two great forces in the moral world, that of evil — the world, the flesh, and the devil, and that of good — in truth, in holiness, and in love. And God is the source of all this good. Now, if the words are of God they will be like Him; which is just what they are. And they will occupy His place, bitter against nothing but evil, enamoured of nothing but good. And they will do His work. So they do, have done everywhere and always, under all circumstances and amid all conditions.

II. BY ALL THE CONTRADICTIONS OF UNBELIEF. Concerning Him it is said, "He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself." Just so it has been with the Word of God, and is so now. They have heated the furnace to the intensest heat, and cast the Bible in, and the result is that it has lost nothing but the tinsel of man's folly or the bonds wherewith men's authority sought to bind it.

III. BY THE EVIL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONDUCT OF FALSE PROFESSORS. We complain of the unfair dealing of unbelief. Naturally. But there are others who deserve our indignation far more, and these are those who profess to be, but are not, friends of the Gospel or of the words of God. Worldly men, who have determined to make it a political engine. Hence it has been encumbered with ceremonies and dogmas; kept back from the people; man's own interpretations fastened upon it, as if they were the words of God Himself.

IV. THE INFIRMITIES AND INCONSISTENCIES OF ITS REAL FRIENDS. Many of you here profess to be its real friends. Some of you hold prominent positions, and, like Peter and John, you bid men look on you and see what your religion can do. And men do look on you and judge the Word of God by you. And they see very soon where there are inconsistencies in you; whilst, on the other hand, there is nothing so awes the world as the spirituality, unselfishness, and devotedness of earnest holiness. But who of us can profess fitly to represent the Word of God? How imperfect are the best of men.

V. BY THE SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT OF ALL SANCTIFIED MEN. In one sense the Word of God tries a man, for according as he acts towards it so does he reveal his spiritual state. On the other hand, all holy souls test the living Word. "My sheep hear My voice," said the Saviour, "but a stranger will they not follow."

VI. BY THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF BOTH SAINTS AND SINNERS. VII. BY THOSE, MOST OF ALL, WHO HAVE MOST THOROUGHLY LIVED IN IT AND WORKED HARDEST FOR IT. If I want to know the sustaining qualities of any particular kind of food I observe those who live most on it, yet do the greatest amount of work, and with the greatest ease, and, nevertheless, show the most robust health. And so, would I know what the Word of God can do, I turn to those who are such as I have described. See Paul. Hear him say, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthened me." All of you who hear the Word, bind it to your hearts, and let it be your holy resolve, God helping you, to live as well as speak His Word.

(John Aldis.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

WEB: The words of Yahweh are flawless words, as silver refined in a clay furnace, purified seven times.

The Poor Set in Safety
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