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Read Psalm 12

For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like gold refined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race.

Go Deeper

In this chapter, David is experiencing what so many of us deal with still today—the feeling that the faithful are few, and grow fewer every day. Keep in mind, David was a fierce warrior and soldier, yet it was not the physical battlefield that sent him to his knees. It was the lies and deception in the hearts of those around him that broke David and caused him to lament that the “loyal have vanished from the human race.” If you have ever felt alone, felt the betrayal of another (as we all have at some point), then you can recognize and empathize with the sorrow that David is expressing. It is likely familiar.

Let’s pause and recognize how he expresses that sorrow. He doesn’t grow angry at the human race. He doesn’t doubt his God’s presence or power over it all, just because it seems like the entire human race has become vile. And it doesn’t say that David tries to do anything about it himself—even though it is very likely that he could have. He was one of the best and most honored soldiers working in the king’s court. At times, he had close contact with the leader of the land. Yet, David didn’t go to the king. He went to the King.

We often forget that God doesn’t need our help. When things hurt us, offend us, or violate what we think is right, we spring into action, especially if we have access or ability to fix the problem at hand. But David knew that despite his position, status, and proximity to power, the strongest weapon he had in his arsenal was prayer. It was only God who would arise and act on behalf of the poor and needy who were being victimized. It was only the power of God’s pure words, in contrast to the lies of the people around David, that would pass the test of time and was worthy of his trust. 

What a humbling thought that God, in all His glory and power, arises on our behalf and in our defense. As Spurgeon describes it, “Think of God arising in his might….Sighing child of God, it is you who can bring him into this marvelous state of activity.” When we lose faith or have a broken heart over the things surrounding us, we need only to remember that it is our acknowledged need that spurs God into action. We just have to ask—and watch Him arise.

Questions

  1. What circumstances have you feeling hopeless or broken-hearted?
  2. Have you tried to fix the problem yourself or have you taken it to God?
  3. What worries can you put down and ask God to handle for you today?



keep digging

Read this article for more insight on why the wicked prosper.



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4 thoughts on “Psalm 12”

  1. When we acknowledge what’s happening in our nation right now it’s easy to get swept away in a tide of anger and hopelessness. Like David we may question if faithfulness has disappeared from the entire human race. Lying, boasting, oppression and wickedness is rampant and flaunted as truth. These are perfect opportunities to take out the weapons in our arsenal:
    The Word of God, prayer, community. This is how we will navigate these rough waters. I’m encouraged by
    1 John 4:1 “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Instead of bowing up let’s fall to our knees where we will do our greatest kingdom work.

  2. Christian Doyle

    I think a good thing to see here is that David didn’t get angry and then pray. That is extremely hard for me to skip the angry step when something happens to me. I’ll get frustrated and mad, then I’ll say I’m sorry to God for my frustration and then I’ll pray about it or for them. David just skipped all of that and went straight to prayer. For many, including me, we need to skip that first step and just pray without the frustration before.

    1. Marilyn Wallace

      I don’t think we have much control over the reaction of anger when something happens to us. It’s usually not expected. Jesus got angry. It’s what we do with those feelings that matter.

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