Psalms 12

Oppression by the Wicked

1

For the choir director: according to Sheminith. A Davidic psalm.

1 Help, Lord, for no faithful one remains; the loyal have disappeared from the human race.[a]
2 They lie to one another; they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that speaks boastfully.
4 They say, "Through our tongues we have power;[b] our lips are our own-who can be our master?"
5 "Because of the oppression of the afflicted and the groaning of the poor, I will now rise up," says the Lord. "I will put in a safe place the one who longs for it."
6 The words of the Lord are pure words,[c] like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times.
7 You, Lord, will guard us;[d] You will protect us[e] from this generation forever.
8 The wicked wander[f] everywhere, and what is worthless is exalted by the human race.

Psalms 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

The psalmist begs help of God, because there were none among men whom he durst trust.

- This psalm furnishes good thoughts for bad times; a man may comfort himself with such meditations and prayers. Let us see what makes the times bad, and when they may be said to be so. Ask the children of this world, What makes the times bad? they will tell you, Scarcity of money, decay of trade, and the desolations of war, make the times bad: but the Scripture lays the badness of the times on causes of another nature, 2Ti. 3:1 , &c.: perilous times shall come, for sin shall abound; and of this David complains. When piety decays times really are bad. He who made man's mouth will call him to an account for his proud, profane, dissembling, or even useless words. When the poor and needy are oppressed, then the times are very bad. God himself takes notice of the oppression of the poor, and the sighing of the needy. When wickedness abounds, and is countenanced by those in authority, then the times are very bad. See with what good things we are here furnished for such bad times; and we cannot tell what times we may be reserved for. 1. We have a God to go to, from whom we may ask and expect the redress of all our grievances. 2. God will certainly punish and restrain false and proud men. 3. God will work deliverance for his oppressed people. His help is given in the fittest time. Though men are false, God is faithful; though they are not to be trusted, God is. The preciousness of God's word is compared to silver refined to the highest degree. How many proofs have been given of its power and truth! God will secure his chosen remnant, however bad the times are. As long as the world stands, there will be a generation of proud and wicked men. But all God's people are put into the hands of Christ our Saviour; there they are in safety, for none can pluck them thence; being built on Him, the Rock, they are safe, notwithstanding temptation or persecution come with ever so much force upon them.

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Mc 7:2
  • [b]. Lit That say, "By our tongues we are strengthened
  • [c]. Ps 18:30; 119:140; Pr 30:5
  • [d]. Some Hb mss, LXX, Jer; other Hb mss read them
  • [e]. Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss read him
  • [f]. Lit walk about

Chapter Summary

Psalms 12 Commentaries