The title of this blog is a rendition of Psalm 12:1 in the “God’s Word” translation. In the eight verses of this psalm, the Psalmist speaks to a community of believers living in a deceitful society filled with a prevalence of untruths and misinformation. It seems as though the people of God were dominated by liars in positions of authority. “The Psalmist asks the Lord to intervene, for society is overrun by deceitful, arrogant oppressors and godly individuals are a dying breed” (NET). But “because of the Lord’s answer, the godly can face the future knowing that God protects them” (NLT Study Bible). May this also be true of us today. God is looking for “truth-tellers,” who will stand up and be heard.
The Psalmist laments, “Help, Lord, for no faithful one remains; the loyal have disappeared from the human race” (v. 1). The godly and faithful are so rare it seems as if they have disappeared. “Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts” (v. 2). This is a cultural snapshot of our dominating contemporary narrative. Lies are being perpetuated as truths. There is a lot of empty talk, including flattery in the guise of smooth talk. We are asked, with a smile, to believe lies. This kind of deception gives us a steady diet of “doubletalk.” Many ask today, “Who are we to believe? What are their true motives?”
The Psalmist prays for God to silence the flattering lips and boastful tongues. These individuals believe their power resides in their speech, convinced they can influence others with their words. “We speak persuasively; we know how to flatter and boast. Who is our master?” (v. 4). “Destructive gossip, undemocratic legislation, language devalued by political correctness, the media’s drowning of quality in quantity, are all examples” (Bible Speaks Today) of an arrogant attitude toward God in our day.
But the Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor” (v. 5 ). In response, God “will rise up to rescue them as they have longed for me to do” (v. 5). It might seem like lies and deception are having their way, but God gives fair warning: “Even though the wicked strut about and evil is praised throughout the land,” He will “protect the oppressed, preserving them forever from this lying generation” (v. 7). In our day, the wicked certainly “strut about” having captured the imagination of contemporary media. Be careful – we are being asked to believe a lie (II Thess. 2:10-12).
In contrast to the deception found in society, we can depend on the trustworthiness of God’s Word. “The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over” (v. 6). God means what he says; his words are completely pure. “When we feel as though sincerity and truth have nearly gone out of existence, we have one hope: the Word of God, which is pure and flawless as refined silver. So listen carefully when he speaks to you through his Word” (Application Bible).
What is a man to do today in a decadent society?
This title above is how The Guardian described The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, a new book by British feminist Louise Perry. A 30-year-old “proud Feminist,” Perry has spent her working career helping female victims of sexual abuse and exploitation. She explains, “It’s precisely because I’m a feminist that I’ve changed my mind on sexual liberalism.” Notes the Daily Citizen, “She writes as a feminist because many things are changing in our current debate over sexuality and new voices are feeling emboldened to speak out.”
From her work with victimized women, Perry concludes that the sexual revolution was, “an ideology premised on the false belief that the physical and psychological differences between men and women are trivial, and that any restrictions placed on sexual behavior must therefore have been motivated by malice, stupidity or ignorance… The problem is, the differences aren’t trivial. Sexual asymmetry is profoundly important.”
Perry believes women lost much in the “advances” of the sexual revolution. She hopes her writing will spark a new and different feminist movement. “I think,” she writes, “young women have been utterly failed by liberal feminism and have the most to gain from swingback against its excesses.” She is hopeful that her efforts will help accelerate this swing.
The Guardian noted that Perry’s book “comes as something of a shock to see a feminist writer with any new ideas at all.” However, The Daily Citizen is hopeful. “Maybe that is because Louise Perry is not proposing new ideas, but instead, rediscovering some very old and wise ones. And it is very good that she is gaining such a wide hearing in articulating these views to a new generation of women…”
Of special interest to me was Perry’s comment regarding men: “If a man isn’t willing to stand up in front of everyone you and he knows and promise to cherish you forever, then how can you be sure he’s really committed to your shared life?” In this regard Perry has some very traditional views about marriage.
Critical of marriage vows that are “tailored by individual whims and sentimentalities,” Perry maintains they are “not rugged enough to honor what marriage itself is and is supposed to be.” She explains, “Every time my husband and I go to a traditional [high church] wedding, we hear again the words we spoke at our own wedding and are reminded that we’ve opted into an institution that every other married couple is part of.”
Perry believes that women are unique in their femininity. She sees female sexuality is fundamentally more civilized and can produce life. “It requires more protection, being respected and honored by all.” Rather than advocating freedom, which ended up in Perry’s view “enslaving nearly everyone, women especially,” she prefers “the ideal of restraint by both men and women over freedom.”
Men, I hear in these words a cry for men to be “protectors.” I am reminded of the song by Sanctus Real entitled “Lead Me” (2010). It has always been convicting to me:
“Lead me with strong hands/Stand up when I can’t/Don’t leave me hungry for love/Chasing dreams, but what about us/Show me you’re willing to fight/That I’m still the love of your life/I know we call this our home/But I still feel alone.”
Men, rejoice in your freedom to be the protector of your marriage, family, and home. Don’t give up the fight. Take the lead by protecting and showing your wife the respect she deserves. “Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them” (I Peter 3:7 – Message). In a confused world, you can bring some order and peace.