Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. Psalms 12:1
In the Gospel of Luke 18:8, Jesus asks the thought provoking question, “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” With this question Christ is foretelling the profusion of unbelievers who will dominate the earth prior to His return. If Christ should not speedily appear, there will be almost none to look for him. Calvin wrote in the 16th Century, “Would that we did not behold so manifest a fulfillment of this prediction!” His prayer was answered, but what about us? Are we witnessing such a time? Is 57:1, Jer 5:1-2, Hos 4:1-10, Mic 7:1-2, 2 Tim ch.3, 2 Pet 3:3-18, are all descriptions of the last days which emphasize the vanishing faith of those days.
In these few words Christ informs us that as we see all things in shameful confusion; as terrorism, treachery, cruelty, pretense, deceit, and violence, abound on every side; as regard for justice wanes and there is no longer any shame over disgraceful sins; as the poor groan under their oppressors; as the innocent are abused and insulted; as people more and more boast unashamedly of their disbelief and even hatred of God; as they murmur against the Lord in their hearts, saying, ‘where is the promise of His coming?’ As we see all this happening around us, remember that Jesus has already told us of the earth’s condition before His return. Before the Son of man comes to avenge the wrongs of this world, so low will the hope of relief sink, because of the length of the delay, that one would be fain to ask, ‘Is there any faith of a coming Avenger, any expectation that the Church’s Lord will ever return to her?’ Later in his Gospel, Luke reports Jesus’ hopeful words in light of the bleak conditions of the end times: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28
Like any kingdom, the kingdom of darkness and the rise of Antichrist, which is to come, is preceded by the spoken word. Scripture is full of verses which describe the attributes of the wicked, and perhaps the most common attribute found in these descriptions involves his tongue, which he uses to boast. (see Ps 10:3, 49:6, 52:1, Is 10:15, Acts 5:36, Rom 1:29-31, 2 Th 2:4, James 4:16, 2 Pet 2:18, Jude 16). Paul writes to Timothy of the condition of individuals in the last days. Take note of how many of Paul’s descriptive words relate to the tongue: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, … boasters, proud, blasphemers, … slanderers, without self-control, brutal, … having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Tim 3:1-6). Daniel prophesies of Antichrist in chapters 7-11, he spoke pompous words; through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper, and he shall seize the kingdom by intrigue. The beast of Revelation was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies (Rev 13:5, Dan 11:36).
One can say that Psalm 12 is about the last days, but more than this, it is particularly about the use of words and speech in this or any age. It contrasts the words of the wicked with the pure words of the Lord. Kingdoms are built upon words – whether vane, flattering speeches which build the kingdom of Antichrist, or Gospel words which populate the Kingdom of God.
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