Psalm 12

The Word Made Fresh

(For the worship leader; accompanied by stringed instruments to the tune of the Sheminith – a psalm of David.)

1Help us, LORD! There are no god-fearing people around anymore.
Faithful people seem to have disappeared!
2They just tell each other lies,
and flatter with deceitful lips and a deceptive heart.
3LORD, take away all their flattering talk,
and tongues that make outrageous claims.
4Silence those who claim to have a right to say whatever they wish,
that their words are theirs to proclaim, and no one can stop them.
5The LORD says, “I will take action because the poor are being cheated
and the needy are groaning.
They beg for safety, and that is what I will give them.”
6They can depend on what the LORD promises,
as sure as they can depend on refined and purified silver.
7Lord, you will protect us.
You will guard us from this wicked generation.
8The wicked will prowl about on every side
whenever wickedness is honored among the people.


Superscription: the 9th psalm ascribed to David. For “Sheminith” see the note at Psalm 6.

1-2: The author of this little psalm is appalled at the wickedness he sees in the world. Lies and deceitful flattery are all around.

3-4: He longs for the LORD to take action, to silence their tongues and put an end to their boasting.

5-7: The psalmist imagines God taking action to protect the needy and take away their suffering; that God will be their protection and their safety.

8: He takes one last glance around and sees wickedness being honored by the wicked. He watches them strut about in their confidence that no one can do anything to stop them.


Verses 1, 2 and 8 could have been written at the beginning of the 21st century. There is so much wickedness in the world, and faith in God is a rare thing to find in the marketplace these days. We might utter the same prayer found in verses 3 and 4. Oh that we might cling to the faith expressed in verses 5-7: the faith that God will not allow the poor and needy to be ill-treated forever; the faith that God’s promises are dependable; and the faith that God will be our sure protection.