Deliverance (Sir 51:2-51:4)

“You have been my protector!

You have been my helper!

You have delivered me

From destruction!

You have delivered me

From the trap laid

By a slanderous tongue!

You have delivered me

From lips that utter lies!

In the face of my adversaries

You have been my helper.

In the greatness of your mercy,

In the greatness of your name,

You have delivered me

From grinding teeth

About to devour me.

You have delivered me

From those seeking my life.

You delivered me

From the many troubles

I endured.

You delivered me

From choking fire on every side.

You delivered me

From the midst of the fire

That I had not kindled.”

The Lord was his protector and helper. The Lord delivered him from many different awkward situations. He delivered him from destruction, slanderous traps, lying lips, grinding teeth, those trying to kill him, enduring troubles, fires on every side, and fires that he had not started. All this he did out of the greatness of his mercy and his name.

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Truth (Prov 12:17-12:22)

“Whoever speaks the truth

Gives honest evidence.

But a false witness

Speaks deceitfully.

Rash words are like sword thrusts.

But the tongue of the wise

Brings healing.

Truthful lips endure forever.

But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil.

But those who counsel peace have joy.

No harm happens to the righteous.

But the wicked are filled with trouble.

Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh.

But those who act faithfully are his delight.”

Truth is important. Telling the truth is giving honest evidence. The false witness was full of deceitful speech. Their rash words were like sword swipes. The tongue of the wise truthful one brings healing and endures forever. The lying tongue only lasts a moment. The deceitful people plan their evil deeds. If you counsel peace, you will bring joy. The righteous are not harmed, but the wicked are full of trouble. Yahweh hates lying lips, but loves faithful true lips.

Hatred (Prov 10:12-10:18)

“Hatred stirs up strife.

But love covers all offenses.

On the lips of him who has understanding

Wisdom is found.

But a rod is for the back

Of one who lacks sense.

The wise lay up knowledge.

But the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.

The wealth of the rich is their fortress.

But the poverty of the poor is their ruin.

The wage of the righteous leads to life.

But the gain of the wicked is to sin.

Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,

But one who rejects a rebuke goes astray.

Lying lips conceal hatred.

But whoever utters slander is a fool.”

Hatred stirs up things. However, love covers all faults. Wise lips have understanding. However, for the senseless they need a rod slap on the back. The wise ones have knowledge, but the babbling fools have nothing but ruin. The rich use wealth as a fortress. The poverty of the poor brings them to ruin. The righteous will have life, while the wicked will simply sin. When you follow instructions, you are on the path to life. However, if you reject a rebuke, you are probably going astray. Lying lips conceal hatred, but fools are slanderers.

Cry of distress (Ps 120:1-120:2)

A song of ascents

“In my distress

I cry to Yahweh!

Thus he may answer me.

‘Yahweh!

Deliver me

From lying lips!

Deliver me

From a deceitful tongue!’”

Psalm 120 is the first short psalm that begins the psalms that were sung on the way to Jerusalem. There are now 15 songs or psalms of ascent in a row. Thus they use repetitive verses like many of the psalms, so that the processing people could remember them as they went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This one is about someone in distress. He cried to Yahweh to answer him. He wanted to be delivered from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.

David trusts Yahweh (Ps 31:14-31:18)

“But I trust in you!

Yahweh!

I say.

‘You are my God.’

My times are in your hand.

Deliver me

From the hand of my enemies!

Deliver me

From the hand of my persecutors!

Let your face shine on your servant!

Save me in your steadfast love!

Do not let me be put to shame!

Yahweh!

I call on you!

Let the wicked be put to shame!

Let them go dumbfounded to Sheol!

Let those who speak insolently

Against the righteous,

With pride and contempt,

May their lying lips be stilled!”

David trusted in Yahweh. Truly Yahweh was his God. He had full confidence in him. He placed his life in the hands of God. He hoped that he would be delivered from the hands of his enemies and persecutors. He wanted Yahweh’s face to shine on him to give him light. He wanted Yahweh to act out of his steadfast love and not put him to shame.   Instead he wanted the wicked to be put to shame. He wanted them to go dumbfounded into Sheol, the underworld of death. He wanted their lying lips stilled. He wanted those who had spoken insolently against the righteous ones with pride and contempt to be quiet. David wanted the tables turned on his enemies because he trusted in Yahweh.