Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 12

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


This is a short and pathetic lamentation over the languishing state of. the Church, and the decrease of the faithful. The sacred writer, however, takes comfort in the assurance, that God will preserve a seed in the heart.

To the chief Musician upon Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

Psalms 12:1

The prayer begins beautifully. When faithful men are minished, to whom shall souls zealous for God's glory look, but to a faithful God? The Lord hath so commanded; and he that bids to pray, is then coming forth in mercy to answer. Isaiah 62:6-7 . Reader, if there was more concern for Zion's interest than there is, it would be well for the Church. It is much to be feared, that when the waters of the sanctuary are low, the people are not wrestling as they ought with the Lord in prayer.

Verses 2-4

While the Lord's people are not earnest to assemble, the vain will assemble, and their conversation will be trifling. The children of this world are, in their generation, wiser than the children of light. But, Reader, it is not among the vain and the carnal that we find vain conversation only. Alas! as our Lord foretold concerning the latter days, so we find it; because iniquity abounds, the love of many is waxen cold. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon!

Verse 5

What a blessed relief is here found in divine strength against human deceitfulness; and with what sweetness doth this verse come in to comfort every sorrowful soul, that is sighing and crying for the abominations of the land! There is a time to favour Zion; and that time the King of Zion hath already marked. When his people groan, and when his enemies seem to be at the height of their cruelties, then, saith the Lord, will I arise. My soul, I charge it upon thee to remember this: and when matters seem to be most discouraging; when all human help seems over, and the enemy crieth out, "Aha, aha, so would we have it; " then Jesus is near at hand, and deliverance at the very door. What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? saith the Prophet. Why, that the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it. Isaiah 14:32 .

Verse 6

How beautifully is this verse introduced, by way of contrast to what was said before concerning the words of the ungodly. Do sinners talk of vanity? let saints then speak of Jesus and his gospel. Do they talk impure words? then let the faithful use the pure words of God, which, like silver; the more used, the more melted in the fire, the more precious will they be. It is true indeed, despisers will esteem both God and his word as trifling; but oh! what unknown treasure doth the word, the promises, the covenant relation of the divine things of Jesus, contain! They are more to be desired than gold, yea than fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb.

Verses 7-8

These verses seem to have no immediate connection with what went before; nevertheless they come in with a blessed conclusion, to ensure the faithfulness of Jehovah. What though bad men triumph and the faithful are minished, Jesus is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness, for by strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9 .

Verse 8


READER, there never was a period of the Church, when this Psalm seemed to be more applicable. How few are there asking the way to Zion! How many the vacancies made by death in the congregations of the faithful! And who is there pleading, crying, wrestling with Zion's King in prayer, and determined to take no denial, that the Lord would fill those vacancies, and raise up a generation to call him blessed? Alas, alas! may it not with too much truth be said, all seek their own, and not the things of Jesus Christ? Blessed Lord, help us to look to thee. O for grace to be poured out from on high on churches, ministers, people; that the Lord would yet make Zion a praise in the earth. Oh! that the cause of truth, of God, and of his Christ, were become the most interesting concern of all his people. Oh! ye servants of Jesus, cry, cry mightily to the Lord; and tell him how Zion languisheth. And ye who love her courts and ordinances, pray, pray for the peace of Jerusalem; for they shall prosper that love Zion. But oh! from men, my soul, look thou to the Lord. Tell thy Jesus, that Zion must be dear to him, when her walls are always before him, and her name graven on the palms of his sacred hands. O, then, Lord, let my soul hear, by the ear of faith, thine own most precious promise, again and again repeated. Now for the oppressions of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord. Come, Lord! take thy glorious cause into thine own most glorious hand: then wilt thou turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon thy name, and serve thee with one consent; even from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, thy suppliants, even the daughters of thy dispersed, shall bring thine offering.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 12". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-12.html. 1828.
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