PSALM 12.

Prayer for Godís Protection of His Church.

This psalm again shows a prophetical strain; it is applicable throughout to the little flock, the poor, small crew of the Christian Church, in its many vicissitudes. Cp. Acts 2, 30. To the chief musician upon Sheminith, upon the octave, to be sung or played with bass voices, or, on an eight-stringed instrument, a psalm of David. V. 1. Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, it was a time when true piety was decreasing both in amount and in influence; for the faithful fail from among the children of men, true loyalty and faithfulness having become exceedingly rare in the world, vanished, to all intents and purposes. V. 2. They, namely, men in general, the rank and file of people on earth, speak vanity everyone with his neighbor, falsehood, lies, being the order of the day; with flattering lips, without a shred of sincerity, and with a double heart, both hypocritical and inconsistent, do they speak. Cp. Hos. 4, 1-6. V. 3. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things, great and swelling words of boastfulness, utterly uprooting the whole kingdom of lies; v. 4. who have said, With our tongues will we prevail, showing strength with them, believing themselves to be absolute masters of their words; our lips are our own, to formulate all the flattering speeches which they might choose to make; who is lord over us? Who would dare to interfere with their haughtiness; who would prevent their doing as they pleased? This being the situation, the psalmist now sets forth the views of the Lord. V. 5. For the oppression of the poor, those in misery and distress, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord, as the almighty Avenger of wrong; I will set him, the poor and downtrodden, in safety from him that puffeth at him, with a gesture of proud disdain, or, ďI will place him in safety who panteth after it,Ē being filled with eager longing to escape the continual oppression of the mighty. This being the attitude of the Lord, the psalmist praises Him. V. 6. The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, a workshop with its crucible surrounded with earth being in the poetís mind, purified seven times, to insure the highest possible degree of purity. V. 7. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, namely, the believers, the faithful; Thou shalt preserve them from this generation, from those pervaded with the wicked spirit of the age, forever. V. 8. The wicked walk on every side, their entire bearing showing the pride of their hearts, when the vilest men are exalted, in accordance with the increase of vileness among the sons of men, that is, the more the Christians neglect to act as the salt of the earth, as the leaven in the perverse generation of these latter days, and the more their own behavior is subject to just criticism as not in accordance with the Word of God, the more will the enemies of the Lord take occasion to lift up their heads in proud blasphemy and increase their hatred of the Lordís work.