Psalm 12

The psalms

Psalm 12 – Bad and good language

Psalms index

Psalm 12 (NIV)

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

Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. 2 Everyone lies to his neighbour; their flattering lips speak with deception. 3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue 4 that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips— who is our master?”

5 “Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” 6 And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.

7 O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people for ever.

8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men.


Psalm 12 – Bad and good language

(Verse 1) Here is a simple yet significant two-word prayer which you can pray today: ‘Help LORD.’ David explains why he prays for help: he feels alone as a God-fearing man surrounded by wicked people. Real Christians do need close and regular fellowship with each other. They are lonely without it. So, please do meet to hear the Bible in Sunday services, Bible studies and at prayer meetings. Encourage each other personally and informally too.

(Verses 2-4) One way someone who trusts and follows Jesus differs from the world around, is how he uses his tongue. Bad language is ‘out’ for someone whose heart Christ has changed. Jesus died for him and now lives in his life through the Holy Spirit. Words are to the heart what amplifiers are to microphones. Wrong talk comes out in many ways. It reveals a heart that needs to be cleansed and changed by faith in Jesus. God will judge every sinner for every evil word—unless and until he or she turns from sin to receive Christ as Lord. This sin includes lies, flattery, deception, boasting, pride, conceit, and refusing to let God rule our speech. It includes vile language, filthy words and blasphemy against God, as well as the kinds of sinful words already mentioned.

(Verse 5) God tells David that He sees the oppression and groanings of weak and needy folk facing all this pressure. He then promises to ‘arise’ and protect them from those speaking evil against them.

(Verses 6-8) How will God help such folk?

First, He draws their attention to His word, the Bible. It contains His actual words. It is ‘flawless’ (faultless), precious, valuable and totally pure. So, please trust and read it daily. Go regularly to hear it taught and preached. God helps all who ask Him and put Him first.

Second, He promises to keep us safe and protect us personally. If that seems to ‘fail’ it is because God has a better plan for us. That secure safety and divine protection guarantees us eternally a home in Heaven. That is why Jesus shed His blood for us and bore our punishment for our sins in His own sinless body. That does not mean it all will be easy, or without problems.

Although God keeps safe and protects those who trust and honour Him, wicked men will ‘strut about when what is vile is honoured among men.’ How true that is today in life and in our media. May you honour the Lord and keep close to Him if you are His.