Summary: A provoking message of what life might look like when the godly disappear from society.
WHEN THE FAITHFUL VANISH
TEXT: Psalm 12:1-8
Psalms 12:1-8 KJV To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:  Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.  The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.
I. INTRODUCTION—ORIGIN OF THIS PSALM
A. Where The Psalm Came From
-This psalm is another one where there isn’t a clear event in the life of David that is pointed to. Some scholars seem to think that is it one where he has faced deceit and dishonesty in his court after he was the king. In fact from historical study, we could derive the fact that he probably had to deal with more deception and dishonesty than we could even imagine.
-Our world today is filled with liars and false flatterers and there are times that the righteous hardly know who to trust.
• Psalm 10—The wicked use their words to boast and sneer.
• Psalm 11—The wicked use their words to tear down the moral and social formations of society.
• Psalm 12—The wicked use their words on dishonesty and flattery to get what they want.
-I hope you are picking up on a pattern here through all of these psalms. . . God is pretty serious about what I say and whether or not I am using my words to edify or to destroy.
• Solomon knew about flattery (Prov. 26:28; 28:23; 29:5).
• Daniel noted that flattery would be a tool of the wicked world ruler (Dan. 11:32).
• Jude defined flattery as being something ungodly (v. 16).
-Here is where we need the holiness that comes through instruction. . . Guard your tongue!
-One of the things that this Psalm speaks to is a betrayal that comes through deception.
B. An Illustration from World War II
On June 6, 1944, the US and her allies sent 150,000 troops to attack the coast of Normandy. It is a date in history that is commonly referred to as D-Day. While there were many casualties, it could have been much worse than what it was. One of the reasons it was prevented was because of the operation that started before the attack ever began.
Operation Fortitude was what enabled the invasion to take place. It worked on a system of spies who had infiltrated the German military system. The Americans, along with the British and French, managed to gain the confidence of German spies and they became double agents. Our spies fed the Germans information that caused them to think that we would attack in Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. To this date it remains the most successful but sophisticated effort at espionage our nation has ever undertaken.
The US and her allies used dummy tanks, ships, and armies to fool the Germans. They even used carrier pigeons that the Germans thought belonged to them to carry information in this historic battle. Tar Robertson was in charge of the spies and he managed to create what some call an “army of liars” to win the battle. While we can be thankful that our nation managed to shut off the impact of a madman, it was accomplished with great deception that in end spelled great peril for the Germans.
-That is the action that David is hinting at that takes place in this psalm. Flattery, deception, double-tongues and double-hearts.
II. PSALM 12—WHEN THE FAITHFUL VANISH
-For this particular psalm, I am using John Phillips outline from his very dependable commentary on the Psalms, Exploring the Psalms, Volume One, Psalms 1-88 (p. 92).
-Before moving into the psalm itself, we look to a word in the superscription, Sheminith. This word is also found in the superscription in Psalm 6 and has one other reference in 1 Chronicles 15:21. Its literal meaning is “the eighth division.”
-Because it is attached to 1 Chronicles we find that there is an order of worship that Israel participated in that required of them to hold a special place for those “righteous worshippers.” These were apparently those men who were literally in a cut above all of the rest of those who were involved in the worship procession and service.