For the director of music.
According to sheminith.
A psalm of David.
12 Help, Lord, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor;
their flattering lips speak with deception.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue
4 that says, “We will triumph with our tongues;
we own our lips b — who is our master?”
5 “Because of the oppression of the weak
and the groaning of the needy,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
purified seven times.
7 O Lord, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people forever.
8 The wicked freely strut about
when what is vile is honored among men.
On some university campuses, what once was called “Home Economics” is now “The College of Applied Life Studies.” In Tucson, Arizona, potholes are no more, because they’re now known as “pavement deficiencies.” In politics, new taxes are “revenue enhancements,” and in military jargon, “retreat” is “backloading of augmentation personnel.” If, while you’re backloading, you get shot, the bullet hole is “a ballistically induced aperture in the subcutaneous environment.”
This kind of artificial evasive language is known as “double-speak” and its popularity in almost every area of human life is evidence that language and communication are in serious trouble. Our ability to speak and write words is a precious gift of God, and this psalm deals with the right and wrong use of that gift.
Verse 1: Words of Despair
· These are the words of the righteous
· Help, Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.
· In Ps 11, the foundations of society were shaking (v. 3), but here David cried out for help because the godly remnant of faithful believers was getting smaller and smaller. This wasn’t the complaint of a crotchety old man longing for “the good old days.” It was the cry of a truly faithful servant of God who wanted to see his nation Israel fulfill her divine purposes on earth.
· The Hebrew word for “help” is uv^y* yasha` (yaw-shah’) and it is call for salvation or deliverance. This is not (sarcastic) “please help” it’s (emphatic!) “HELP! SAVE ME!”
· David’s heart is breaking because he sees these faithful ones disappearing!
Verses 2-4: Words of Deception
· One mark of a Spirit-filled believer is the ability to detect lies and liars and avoid them
· 1 John 2:20-23
o 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. d 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist — he denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
· David knew that he was living in a society controlled by deception. It wasn’t that only a few people were telling lies; deception was a major characteristic of the whole generation.
Verses 5-8: Words of Deliverance
· (“protect,” in verse 5 comes from the same Hebrew root as “help” in verse 1 and “deliver” in Psalm 6:8, and is the basis for the names “Jesus” and “Joshua” (“Yahweh is salvation”).
· Part of the essence of our Lord is that He delivers us.
· We can trust His promise. His words is flawless (v6). They are refined 7 times—the number of completeness.
· We must keep ourselves from being like them. That is part of what the Lord’s deliverance is: from ourselves.