October 26 2022
Today, Wednesday October 26
Everyone Speaks Idly
“Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things, Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; Who is lord over us?"
"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise," says the LORD; "I will set him in the safety for which he yearns."
The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. You shall keep them, O LORD, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
From the title we know that David is the writer of this Psalm. We believe that it could have been written about the time he was fleeing from King Saul who was attempting to kill him because of his jealousy. We can’t be sure if David wrote Psalm 12 when he was fleeing, or he wrote it later in life looking back on this time, and might have been thinking of other times when it appeared that wicked and evil people were in places of authority and influence. The title also tells us that this Psalm was written to the Chief Musician which means it was a song to be song. Over the centuries our songs are usually a reflection of the conditions of the culture and society in which we live, and they express our emotions and thoughts about what is happening around us.
In Psalm 11, the foundations of society were shaking (v. 3), but here David cried out for help (salvation, deliverance) 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.
One mark of a Spirit-filled believer is the ability to detect lies and liars and avoid them (1 John 2:18-29), and 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. (See Ps. 5:9; 28:3; 34:13; 55:21; 141:3.) What would David say if he were alive today and witnessed the propaganda and promotion that make up what we casually call "the media"? He would probably describe today's "communication" as he did centuries ago: empty and useless words ("vanity"), smooth talk ("flattery"), double-talk from double hearts, and boastful talk or "proud words."
Saul used lies to deceive his leaders about David, and Absalom used flattery to poison the minds of the naive people of Israel against David. Flattery is not communication, it's manipulation (see Prov. 26:28; 28:23). Even in Christian ministry it's possible to use flattery to influence people and exploit them (1 Thess. 2:1-6; Acts 20:28-31). Flattery plays on the ego and especially influences people who want to appear important (Jude 11).
As for "proud words," this describes boastful speech that impresses people by its oratory and vocabulary. "Great swelling words" is the phrase used in 2 Peter 2:18 and Jude 1:16. Daniel (7:20, 25) and John (Rev. 13:2, 5) both tell us that the Antichrist will speak in this way and rule the world. This kind of speech is motivated by pride and is used by people who think they're in control and will never need to answer to anybody, including the Lord. Their lips are their own, and they think they can speak just as they please.
But can the Lord's promises be trusted? Yes! Unlike the worthless words of the deceivers, the Word of the Lord is like precious silver (Ps. 19:9-10) that is heated seven times in the crucible before it is poured out into the mold. His Word is flawless and can be trusted; His Word is precious and must be valued (Ps. 119:14, 72, 127, 162). How paradoxical that society today sees the Scriptures as something relatively worthless and yet pays great sums of money to the people who manufacture deception and flattery. But no matter how many lies this generation tells, God's Word is safe.
The final verse issues a call to action, for "the wicked strut about, and evil is praised throughout the land" (NLT). Vileness ("cheapness") is promoted and exalted in the media: immorality, brutality, murder, lies, drunkenness, nudity, the love of money, the abuse of authority. The things that God condemns are now a means of universal entertainment, and the entertainment industry gives awards to the people who produce these things. People boast about things they ought to be ashamed of (Romans 1:28-32; Phil. 3:18-19).
Is there a way to restrain and overcome this national decay? Yes! God's people are salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16). If there were more light in the land, there would be less darkness, and if we had more salt, there would be less decay. As God's people worship God, pray, and share the Gospel with the lost, more people will trust Christ and increase the salt and light in the land. We must also share the truth of the Word with the next generation! May the Lord help us to do this today!