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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 12

Verses 1-8

PSALM 12

The Lord, and His words, the resource of the righteous in a day when the faithful fail from among those who profess the name of God, and when lawlessness and wickedness prevail on every side.

This psalm presents a contrast to Psalm 11 . There, the evil is working in secret: here, it flaunts itself in public. The two conditions may be found together. A work of evil may be secretly undermining all that is of God while, at the same time, there may be a public display of the lawlessness of man.

(v. 1) The godly man appeals to the Lord, spreading out the evil of the times before the Lord. The soul is tried by the lack of “the godly” - those who fear God; and the “faithful” - those who can be relied on to maintain the truth among the people of God.

(vv. 2-5) The words of man betray their true character as marked by self-exaltation and self-will. They seek their own exaltation by flattering others, and boasting of themselves - speaking proud things. They express their self-will by refusing all authority: they say “who is lord over us?” As ever the man who is loudest in claiming liberty to speech and liberty of action for himself, is foremost in refusing liberty to others. He is the oppressor of the godly. Nevertheless the godly realize that the Lord will deal with the wicked and preserve the poor and needy.

(vv. 6-7) The words of the Lord. In contrast to the vain, flattering and boastful words of men, the godly have the pure words of the Lord in which there is no admixture of dross. Relying on these pure words the righteous are assured that they will be kept and preserved from this generation - those marked by the lawless spirit of the age - even though the wicked walk on every side in a day when godliness is at a discount and “vileness is exalted” (JND).

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 12". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-12.html. 1832.