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Singing Psalm 12 you will be happily broken or crushed

“No matter what, you are going to be cut. The question is whether you will be a branch on the vine that is pruned, cut to live, or whether you will be a branch that is cut off the vine to die.” ~ a friend

Are you a branch that is grafted in or cut off the vine? Are you broken or crushed?

Singing Psalm 12 you will be broken or crushed by words

“O may the LORD cut off all lips that flatter,And every boasting tongue that speaks great things –Those who have said, ‘With our tongues we will conquer;Our lips are ours, what lord rules over us?'” ~ Psalm 12:3-4

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” ~ John 15:1-2

“If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” ~ John 15:6-7

Jesus makes distinctions about whether a person is broken or crushed after he gives the parable of the two sons and the parable of the tenants and before he gives the parable of the wedding feast.

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected    has become the cornerstone;the Lord has done this,    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” ~ Matthew 21:42-44

Jesus fixes those who are broken and cut to the heart. He grafts them into his vine. Jesus crushes those who reject his free offer of grace to save them. He cuts them off his vine.

Will you be broken or crushed?

Should young men or women look for wise counsel best from other young men or women like themselves or from the mature, wise, and godly? Would Rehoboam, in hindsight, choose differently if he got a second chance? Would he choose to be broken or crushed?

Words from the tongue, lips, and the actions that follow overflow from the heart. Which of the branches from Jesus’ vine will be cut to be nurtured and which will be cut off to die? Only he knows who will be either broken or crushed.

Consider the words you are about to say to yourself or others and the actions that follow. How you think, speak, and act will result in being either broken or crushed.

What results from lips and tongues used to glorify the vilest things?

  • Debauchery 

  • Sexual immorality

  • Rebellion against God

  • Independence from him

  • Boasting (strut and swagger like a rooster)

  • Gossip, jealousy, envy

  • Causing division

  • Flattery and deceit (empty words)

  • Double heart, double minded

  • Blasphemy

  • Loving the good gifts God gives you more than him (idolatry)

Persisting in these after multiple warnings will crush you.

Ask the Lord for grace and mercy to be broken at the thought of these before acting on them.

Follow his commands and be free to have:

  • Self-control

  • Sexual purity

  • Faithfulness to God

  • Dependence on him

  • Interdependence with his people, his church

  • Praising God for the gifts he gave to others

  • Unity in diversity

  • Truth as you speak it in love

  • Undivided, single-minded devotion

  • Ultimate respect for God’s name and who he is

  • Right ranking of relationships placing God far above and before the good gifts he gives you

  • Love for God more than anyone (mother, father, sons, daughters, spouse, friends) or anything

O Lord, please give your people opportunities to intercept those who are on their way to being crushed by pointing them to follow Jesus.

Singing Psalm 12 you will be broken or crushed by what or who you admire

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” ~ 1 Peter 4:3-5

An easy way to be broken is to admire and come to Jesus who will transform your weary self and bring you home.

As easy way to be crushed is to admire and follow the ungodly to destruction.

Does God want you to be broken or crushed?

“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:3-4

What are you saddened by most as you sing Psalm 12? What vanishes as in a disappearing act?

  • Godly men

  • Faithful sons

Without godly men, what does the world look like?

  • No protection and provision

  • The poor are plundered.

  • The afflicted groan in despair.

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” ~ Romans 8:22

Who can you run to who comes forth to help, one who is not broken or crushed?

“Help, LORD, because the godly man now ceases;The faithful vanish from the sons of men.” ~ Psalm 12:1

Singing Psalm 12, you ask the Lord to raise up men who are strong, lowly, courageous, gentle, servant leaders who tremble at his word. They are countercultural and behave counterintuitively as they assert their kindness and not their dominance as they decide how to best provide and protect those in their company and/or care.

How is this? How does a man choose to be broken or crushed?

Who do they follow to learn how to be?

Those who follow King Jesus will take note that he loves and commands love for not only enemies but respects women as equal image bearers with important albeit different responsibilities in his kingdom.

O what a joy to hear married men convivial with their wives who seek opportunities to promote and preserve peace and oneness by understanding them in all areas of their lives together. Who wouldn’t admire that?

These happily broken men provide for and protect their wives by shielding them from the devil’s scheme to divide, crush, and conquer them.

A watching world needs to see what unity in diversity looks like as they hang in the balance of being broken or crushed.

You get to display it for them as an image-bearer of the triune God who has perfect unity in diversity.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~ Matthew 5:9

Who provides the remedy for those who are broken or crushed?

The Lord, who is most admirable and in his interest in connecting with you, provides the remedy for the broken.

He himself is the remedy.

By his flawless, pure words,

  • He saves.

  • He fulfills the desire for safety.

  • He takes notice of the poor and oppressed.

  • He gives protection and provision.

  • He preserves his people.

  • He saves them from the midst of the generation of the proud wicked whose tongues boast of great things.

  • He makes distinctions: broken or crushed?

  • He brings the wicked to an end.

In circumcision, a sign of the covenant is to cut off the covering of the receptacle containing seeds of life. The cut off covering dies to signify the glory of life. Those under the old covenant who did this were set apart, holy unto God.

In baptism, a sign of the covenant is to be cleansed by Jesus of sin, guilt, and shame. Born again, putting off that which leads to death, those under the new covenant get to keep improving their baptism throughout their lives by putting on that which leads to life with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Would God’s people devote themselves to him alone and be broken or crushed like the heathen worshiping idols that smother life?

Just like in the sermon on the mount, Jesus boils it down to the heart.

Paul exhorts you to circumcise your heart.

Peter called the early disciples to either be broken or crushed, to repent or rebel, and they were cut to the heart. 

You get to cut off what hinders you from growing in Christ, to throw off the sin that so easily tangles you up with self. You ask the Lord to sever self-focus from you so that you would cherish being others-focused.

You plead with the triune God that you would value what is true, pure, excellent, commendable, and praiseworthy: the person and work of Christ Jesus, who is the only way to the Father, to truth and life.

“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” ~ Romans 11:22

The triune God is kind to prune you, working to cut off what is not forming Christ in you.

Volunteer to fall on the Rock lest you refuse his grace, reject his love, and in rebellion be crushed by it. Ask for the gift of repentance to be cut to the heart lest you be cut off from life.

The Lord is also kind working to graft you into the vine so that you abide in Jesus and become more and more like him, the image-bearer that you truly are.

You are one of many stones whose dimensions conform to and are in line with Jesus, the beginning and the end, who provides direction as the cornerstone and protection as the capstone. Together with him you form the house in which God dwells.

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” ~ Hebrews 10:39

“No matter what, you will be cut.” Which is it: broken or crushed?

There is no remedy for the crushed. They are self-condemned. But the triune God will bring his broken ones to safety where no one will be broken or crushed again.

Jesus will either solve your problem or give you joy as you wait for the time when he makes all things beautiful.

“The words proceeding from the LORD are flawless,    Words pure as silver tested in the fire;Like silver that is molten in a furnace,    It then emerges seven times as pure. 

“O LORD, You will preserve your people always,    And from this generation keep them safe.On every side the wicked strut and swagger,    When people glorify the vilest things.” ~ Psalm 12:6-8

July 7-14, 2023


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