Psalm 12:4

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3-4. See Psalms on "Psalms 12:3" for further information.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 4. Who have said, With our tongues will we prevail; who is Lord over us? So it was: twelve poor and unlearned men on the one side, all the eloquence of Greece and Rome arrayed on the other. From the time of Tertullus to that of Julian the apostate, every species of oratory, learning, wit, was lavished against the church of God; and the result, like the well known story of that dispute between the Christian peasant and the heathen philosopher, when the latter, having challenged the assembled fathers of a synod to silence him, was put to shame by the simple faith of the former "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I command thee to be dumb." Who is lord over us? "Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?" Exodus 5:2 . "What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?" Job 21:15 . "Who is that God that shall deliver you?" Daniel 3:15 . Michael Ayguan, in J. M. Neale's Commentary.

Verse 4. Our lips are our own. If we have to do with God, we must quit claim to ourselves and look on God as our owner; but this is fixed in the hearts of men, We will be our own; we will not consent to the claim which God makes to us: "Our lips are our own." Wicked men might as well say the same thing of their whole selves; our bodies, strength, time, parts, etc., are our own, and who is Lord over us? John Howe.

Verse 4. From the faults of the wicked we must learn three contrary lessons; to wit: 1. That nothing which we have is our own. But, 2. Whatsoever is given to us of God is for service to be done to him. 3. That whatsoever we do or say, we have a Lord over us to whom we must be answerable when he calleth us to account. David Dickson.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3-4.

  1. The revolt of the tongue. Its claim of power, self possession, and liberty. Contrast this and the believer's confession, "we are not our own."
  2. The method of its rebellion -- "flattery, and speaking proud things."
  3. The end of its treason -- "cut off."