Psalm 12

Psalm 12

The Faithful Have Vanished

To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

12   Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone;
    for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
  Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
  May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
    the tongue that makes great boasts,
  those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
    our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
  “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the LORD;
    “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
  The words of the LORD are pure words,
    like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
    purified seven times.
  You, O LORD, will keep them;
    you will guard us from this generation forever.
  On every side the wicked prowl,
    as vileness is exalted among the children of man.


Psalm 12 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Lies. Deception. Delusion. We all do it. We use coping mechanisms to help us deal with reality. In many ways, it’s a strategy to deny reality. The problem with this is that we begin to embrace delusions and safely live in that world. Inevitably, when we deny reality and embrace our own delusions, we hurt ourselves as well as others. These are interesting thoughts to consider when we read Psalm 12.

On the surface, it’s all about words. By speaking falsehood and flattery, people deny the truth. They live in their own reality. But we also see how this begins to affect others. Specifically, the Lord interrupts the false words of these delusional people in order to rescue the poor and needy. There is much to speculate about here. Maybe the sin of the wicked in this Psalm is their false accusations against the poor? Maybe they have no compassion because the poor have not fulfilled their end of an agreement? Or, maybe these people have committed a crime against the poor but refuse to face the facts?

Whatever the case, these sinful words which are spoken affect more than just the poor. They produce a rebellious attitude that contradicts the truth of God. Observe the attitude that develops in verse 4…

Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

Psalms 12:4 NASB

Who is lord over us? What a statement. If we read this with an honest heart, we can clearly see how our lying tongue leads to a rebellion of God’s sovereign truth. This is the greatest denial of all. Slowly and subtlety, we become our own god. Denial is a quick path to becoming a fool.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Romans 1:25 NASB

The remedy, of course, is truth. Just because someone will not acknowledge truth doesn’t make it any less true. It only plummets that person further into a state of denial, rebellion, and foolishness. What is the answer for someone who has built their life on a flimsy foundation of delusions?

“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

Psalms 12:5 NASB

Now I will arise. These words strike fear into every lie and delusion ever conjured up. The God of truth reigns with absolute power and authority. As the Psalm affirms, His words are pure and holy, refined like silver in the fire. In these four simple words (Now I will arise), we get a picture of the Lord standing from His throne high in the heavens to come strike down every ounce of false testimony that has been spoken over the oppressed. When the Lord speaks with absolute authority, not even the devil himself will have any ground to stand on. The lies and deception will be stripped away and the foolish will be left naked, completely exposed.

For the believer, it is the truth that will set us free. For the deceiver, it is the truth that will utterly destroy them. Where do you need truth to reign? Where do you need to begin praying for the Lord to arise in a particular situation?

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