Well-tried Words

William C. Brownson

READ : Psalm 12:1-6

The psalmist laments the vanishing of truth from the land. “The faithful have disappeared… they utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” So much for human truthfulness! Disappointed with our leaders and ourselves, we too cry with bitter cynicism: “Promises! Promises!”

Vastly different are the words of the Lord. He has pledged himself to come to the aid of the deceived and despoiled. He will bring them the safety they long for.

The congregation of believers now sings its thankful Amen (“may it be so!”). The Lord’s promises are “pure.” They are like silver purged by fire, refined to perfection. Throughout this month we will focus on those faithful promises.

In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful are finally passing through the river of death. Christian, who had encouraged Hopeful throughout their journey, begins to falter and fear. But Hopeful calls back to him, “Be of good cheer, brother, I feel the bottom and it is good.” When we too venture on God’s promise in Christ and pass through that last river, the ground beneath us will hold firm.


Thank you, God, for your pure promises, on which we rest our hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.