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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 12

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verse 1


Psalm 12 can be see as a continuation of Psalm 11 in terms of content. In Psalm 11 the foundations are destroyed because of the coming of the antichrist (Psalms 11:3). In Psalm 12 the faithful are disappeared because of the persecution by the antichrist during the great tribulation (Psalms 12:1).

In both psalms the believer seeks his help from God. In Psalm 11, the believer trusts in the government of God, that He governs everything from His heavenly throne (Psalms 11:4). In Psalm 12, the believer trusts in the words of God, that He makes all things true that He says (Psalms 12:6).

In Psalm 11, the believer has to deal with the false deeds of the wicked and in Psalm 12 with the false, untrustworthy words of the wicked. In Psalm 11 the believer puts his trust (generally) in the LORD, the faithful God, and in Psalm 12 (specifically) in the trustworthy Word of God.

The division of the psalm is simple. It consists of two parts:
1. Psalms 12:2-Deuteronomy : deal with the unreliability of the words of the godly.
2. Psalms 12:6-Ruth : deal with the trustworthiness of the words of God and the Word of God.

The Godly Man Ceases to Be

For “for the choir director” (Psalms 12:1) see at Psalm 4:1.

For “upon an eight-stringed lyre” see at Psalm 6:1.

For “a Psalm of David” see at Psalm 3:1.

David immediately begins the psalm with a cry for help (Psalms 12:1). He cries out to God to bring salvation. He feels all alone. There is no godly man left to find (cf. Micah 7:2; Hosea 4:1). No one wants to show him kindness, and those who could do it – for they are there (cf. 1 Kings 19:18) – he cannot reach. Therefore, his God is his only refuge.

In Psalm 10 and Psalm 11 believers are killed covertly (Psalms 10:8-2 Samuel :; Psalms 11:2), in Psalm 12 it happens openly. As a result, David – he is a type of the believing remnant – feels lonely, as does Elijah later (1 Kings 19:10; 1 Kings 19:14). It is as if he has been left alone (cf. Matthew 24:22). Psalm 12 is a deepening and worsening of the condition of Psalm 10 and Psalm 11. Unlike Elijah, David does not give up, but takes refuge in the LORD!

Also, “the faithful disappear from among the sons of men” to the LORD and His Word. When the godly man ceases to be, so do the faithful people. Faithfulness, or truthfulness, is being reliable, someone you can rely on; it excludes all hypocrisy.

We can apply this verse to the time of the antichrist, the time of the great apostasy, the apostasy of the faith. It is in this time that we live. The revelation of the man of sin is yet to come. That will happen when the church is caught up (2 Thessalonians 2:1-Leviticus :). However, the spirit of antichrist is already present and busy with its pernicious work of undermining the faith of many (1 John 4:1).

Verses 2-4

The Words of Men

The wicked disobey God with their tongue (cf. Isaiah 57:4). They falsify and distort the truth (Psalms 12:3). They are out for power and want to pull it towards themselves by flattery, that is, lavishing others with insincere, cunning compliments. Everything may be said, the end justifies the means. Their lips drip with hypocrisy (Proverbs 26:24-Lamentations :). The source of their false words is their heart, for it is “a double heart”, literally “heart and heart”. Their heart is different from the impression they give by their words. They mean something completely different. What is being said here we see with Absalom (2 Samuel 15:1-Joshua :).

David cries out to the LORD and utters a curse wish to put an end to this awful hypocrisy (Psalms 12:3). He wants their lips to be silenced and in a radical way: by cutting off those flattering lips, so that they can never be used again. The same is true of their “tongue that speaks great things” (cf. Daniel 7:8; Revelation 13:5). Their “tongue that speaks great things” is profoundly the tongue of the antichrist (Daniel 11:36). Their tongue, over which roaring language rolls out, must be silenced and never be able to be used again.

That the tongue is a powerful tool for subduing people (Psalms 12:4), history shows. Many have been deceived by the roaring, but also sometimes soft, spawning language of power-hungry people. The fancy-sounding promises to make life better have brought people under their spell. That in doing so God and His authority are rejected, they applaud. All that coercion of the Bible, they have to get rid of it.

Freedom of speech is the highest good. You should be able to mock and ridicule anything and anyone. God and Christ, of course, have to suffer particularly in this matter. It must be possible to publish the filthiest, dirtiest drawings and the most debauched texts. “Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” Man makes up his own mind what he does or does not say. The portrayal of the wicked reaches a low point here and should, as it were, prompt God to intervene now.

That words are not harmless or without value is what the Lord Jesus teaches us. He says: “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-Haggai :).

Verses 5-6

The Words of the LORD

The torrent of ungodly words is now cut off and silenced by the sudden action of the LORD. He begins to speak. He responds to “the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy” (Psalms 12:5). He hears their cry (cf. Exodus 2:24) and arises. When He arises and lifts up Himself and exalts Himself (Isaiah 33:10), it is to judge evil and deliver His people. The wicked are humbled and blown away and His people He set in the safety for which he longs.

The God-fearing’s assurance that God will intervene is in “the words of the LORD” (Psalms 12:6). He has promised to stand up for His own, and what He says, He does. His words are promises; you can trust them. The Old Testament is full of promises that are “yes” in Christ and “amen” through Him (2 Corinthians 1:20). Here He acts by speaking (cf. Psalms 2:5). In doing so, He terrifies the wicked.

If we are wise, we will hold to this, no matter what may happen. The Word of God, what He says, is the unshakable foundation of our trust (cf. Matthew 7:24). We may find ourselves in circumstances that challenge our faith. God uses those circumstances to free us from trusting in ourselves. In return, He wants to teach us to rely on every word that comes from His mouth. As a result, we will live for certain (Matthew 4:4).

God’s words “are pure words”. They are without any ulterior motive, completely pure, without any mixture, true and trustworthy. God’s words are as pure as silver that has been “refined seven times”, that is to say, perfectly refined. Any falsity or hypocrisy is absent. They are words without the deceit, flattery, and duplicity of which the words of the wicked are steeped. This is what David spoke of in Psalms 12:2-Numbers :. The words of God are the greatest contrast imaginable with that.

The words of the LORD are “tried in the furnace of earth” (Darby Translation). The purification is not to make it purer, but to show that it is perfectly pure. There has been and is attempted to eradicate the Word of God by burning Bibles. The Word has endured. There has been and is attempted to make the Word of God implausible by Bible criticism. The Word has demonstrated the absurdity of criticism and has proven to withstand all criticism. Philosophy and science have tried to show that God’s Word is not the truth, for example, by supposedly proving that the world came into being through evolution. God’s Word mocks them openly, for man without God is a blind man who also steps and gropes around in the dark.

The Word has been in every conceivable “furnace of earth” and has come out each time as pure as it went in. The believer has experienced it as a fully reliable Word. In the heat of the trial and the temptations that can accompany it, it has been clearly proven that no teaching of Scripture and no promise has suffered in the slightest through the trial and challenge.

Verses 7-8

Protection From the Wicked

In response to the assurance of God’s words, David ends his cry for salvation of Psalms 12:1 with the assurance of God’s preservation (Psalms 12:7). Just as he put his trust in God earlier (Psalms 11:1), he now puts his trust in His Word. He does not say this only with regard to himself, but sees the truth of this for “them”, that is, all God-fearing people. Regardless of the circumstance of life, the children of God are sure of the special protection of their Father in heaven.

The wicked can turn the world upside down, but God protects His own “from this generation”. Here the wicked have not yet been eradicated, they are still busy, but the righteous have learned to put their trust in God (Psalm 11) and in His words (Psalm 12) (Acts 20:32). ”This generation” are David’s contemporaries, but it also has the meaning of an “unbelieving and perverted generation” or an “evil and adulterous generation” that is present throughout the ages (Proverbs 30:11-2 Chronicles :; Matthew 17:17; Matthew 12:39). God’s preservation and protection do not apply occasionally or for a defined period of time, but are “forever” (cf. John 17:12).

God’s protection is a reality, even though the wicked trot around trying to wipe out the God-fearing (Psalms 12:8). They strut about on every side as if they are lord and master everywhere. While “the faithful disappear from among the sons of men” (Psalms 12:1), “vileness is exalted among the sons of men”. The lowest and most worthless among the wicked have gained a position of power with flattery and their elbows, including going over dead bodies.

We recognize them in politicians who say in unctuous voices that it is a good thing to murder children in the mother’s womb and to give the elderly people the opportunity to commit suicide. These politicians are elected by the people and have the mandate of all who voted for them. They are hoisted on the shield to impose these nicely packaged, debauched things on the entire nation.

It is truly a psalm to be sung accompanied with “an eight-stringed lyre“ (Psalms 12:1), that is, in a low voice. The developments that David has described give the ‘choir members’, who recognize themselves in this, every reason to do so.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 12". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-12.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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