Psalm 12 is said to have been written by David, and there were surely many times in his life when David felt like this. But it is striking that the psalm contains nothing of a strictly personal note. There is no first person language, no "I," "me" or "my." The late Lutheran commentator Herbert Carl Leupold says, "This is one of the many instances when the psalms rise above the purely personal and local and look to the later needs of the church of God." In other words, we can identify easily with what it describes.

Psalm 12 is about human speech, as used by lying men and as employed by God in biblical revelation. It is about words' use and abuse. The principle involved is that the higher or finer a thing is, the more vulnerable it is to perversion. Love is the greatest quality in life. Yet love can be terribly abused. So also with words. In the lips of an Abraham Lincoln or a Winston Churchill words can inspire and challenge. They can lift a people to days of extraordinary greatness. But in the mouth of a Hitler, equally gifted in the use of speech, they can sweep the world into the destructive wars. Words are both our glory and our shame. 

Yesterday we said that the first opening that God does is that of opening the Scriptures to us. It is only from the Bible that a true knowledge of God can be known. Secondly, having opened the Scriptures, He opened their eyes. You find that in verse 31. "Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him and He disappeared from their sight." At this point in the story, He was breaking the bread. I suppose it was a connection there. They had seen Him break the bread before. They perhaps remembered what had happened at the upper room. Certainly they had seen Him at other occasions, but notice that when their eyes are opened to see Him, what they think of and what they talk about is not the sacrament, not the breaking of the bread, but the Scriptures. In other words, it was through Jesus’ explaining of the Scriptures to them that they were enabled to see Him for who He is.

We ask the question, "If sensible people like that, who had seen Christ die, and who had no anticipation of a resurrection whatsoever, came to believe in the resurrection, as they most certainly did, what is it that convinced them of the resurrection?" There is only one answer. It was the resurrection itself. Christ really rose. They weren't prepared to believe it. They didn't anticipate it. They wouldn't have invented it, but He arose. He surprised them. He came and they saw Him and there was no denying the fact that He was there. Because they knew that was true, they went out from that place with a gospel that literally transformed the world.

Here's a couple who knew about these things, and Jesus appeared to them. It's really extraordinary what they experienced and what they said. First of all, let's remember that Mary, Cleopas’ wife, was at the cross. Probably Cleopas was there, too, but it doesn't say so. Mary stood there watching this horrible form of execution. She saw the nails driven. She watched the cross erected. She saw Jesus as He hung there. She heard His cries. She saw the spear as it was thrust into His side. She heard that final cry at His finish, as He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. She saw the blood and the suffering. She heard the taunts. There was no doubt in Mary's mind that He was dead.