Psalm 13 has a simple but very important outline, which we need to keep in mind. There are three parts, each consisting of two verses. Verses 1 and 2 express David's feeling of abandonment. Verses 3 and 4 are a prayer in which he asks God to turn his face toward him again and to answer his questions. Verses 5 and 6 express David's recovered trust in God and have a tone of rejoicing. In these verses David recalls that God has been good to him in the past and says that he is sure God will be good to him again. We need to note the place of prayer in this psalm. It occurs in the very middle and is the turning point. That is an important thing to know.

You may have noticed in your study of the psalms that at different places in the psalter we find increasing intensity and even apparent desperation as we move along. We find this movement as we pass from Psalm 12 to Psalm 13.

In Psalm 12 David feels himself to be alone in the sense that godly or faithful persons seem to have disappeared from around him. Instead of upright persons, he is surrounded by "people of the lie." This is bad enough, of course. If we feel alone in any trying situation, we feel desperate. But when we come to Psalm 13, we find that David feels abandoned now, not only by godly or faithful men, but by even God himself. Can anything be worse than that? It is hard to think so. When Jonah was trying to get away from God, he thought that being abandoned by God would be desirable. But when he was thrown into the sea, was swallowed by the great fish and finally did sense himself to be abandoned by God, he found that he did not like the feeling at all. He compared his state of abandonment to Sheol or Hell and cried out in distress, asking God to save him (cf. Jonah 2).

The Bible has been "tried and found flawless." It has been tested by unbelievers and believers alike, and it has always survived unscathed. Time magazine acknowledged this some years ago in a cover story on the destructive higher criticism which concluded:
 
The breadth, sophistication and diversity of all this biblical investigation are impressive, but it begs a question: Has it made the Bible more credible or less? Literalists who feel the ground move when a verse is challenged would have to say that credibility has suffered. Doubt has been sown, faith is in jeopardy. But believers who expect something else from the Bible may well conclude that its credibility has been enhanced. After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived—and is perhaps the better for the siege. Even on the critics own terms—historical fact—the Scriptures seem more acceptable now than when the rationalists began the attack.
 
I notice that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, said this same thing more than a century earlier.
This brings us to the second half of Psalm 12. For having reviewed the destructive words of wicked persons, the psalmist turns to the words of God and acknowledges that they are quite different. In verse 5 he quotes God directly. It is the first oracle in the Psalms. Then he says that the words of God are "flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times" (v. 6). Silver refined seven times would be completely pure. There would be no dross in it.
 
Yesterday we concluded by saying how the language of abortion has been changed in an attempt to legitimize it. So a “baby” became a “fetus,” and then from there to “tissue.”  And an “abortion” has now become a “surgical procedure,” or, worse, an exercise of the mother’s “right of free choice.” But I saw a new debasement of language in this area not long ago.