Summary: Part of our continuing study of the book of Psalms- David is concerned with dishonesty of those around him and compares their words to God’s.

Grant Avenue Baptist Church

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

(310) 376-7890

Pastor David Wilson


Psalm 12

“Wicked Words vs. God’s Word”



This word is sometimes translated as rescue, deliver, or even bring salvation. It is a powerful word, and is the root for the Word which is translated as Messiah- meaning the promised deliverer or redeemer.

David was looking for God to be the redeemer because people had let him down. He looked around and felt like he was all alone-- in fact he declares that the godly have ceased and loyal friends have disappeared. His view is that godly people have stopped being godly and those who are truly committed to God have failed in their commitment.

If you walk with God very long, there will come times when you feel this way. Elijah felt all alone (I Kings 19) and I imagine that there were times the apostle Paul felt that way when he was imprisoned for the sack of the gospel. I know that Jesus felt all alone as he endured the cross—he even felt that God had forsaken him.

Sometimes, just attending church can make you feel that way, especially if it is one of those services that are truly poorly attended. You start looking around and you wonder where all the people that should be committed have gone! You wonder why you should continue being faithful when others have ceased. Obviously, your focus is in the wrong place and needs adjustment.

David purposefully begins this Psalm with a description of those who have failed around him, those who have allowed wickedness to overwhelm them emotionally so that he can contrast the uncommitted and treacherous with a faithful God who is committed to the deliverance of His people.


David is distressed with the words of the wicked. To David, EVERYONE him has become dishonest. He is distressed with the total lack of honesty around him.

Do you suppose this is like the off-used teenage cliché, “Everyone is doing it!” You know—the one where mom replied and said something like “no, everyone is not doing it, because you aren’t doing it!”

Did you notice how strongly David complains about flattering lips? It sounds to me like he is speaking from personal experience. Someone had become a dishonest “yes man” and told him what made him feel good even though he later discovered it to be untrue.

A careful reading of verses one and two together show that David had likely been hurt by those who had deserted, by blatant dishonesty, and by those who had told him what he wanted to hear.

We always cause hurt by telling people what they want to hear. We are commanded to speak truth with our neighbor so that we can build each other up. If people tell you that you are on the right track when you are going the wrong way it can only lead you further off track.

VERSES 3 & 4:

David declares his wish that God would destroy the following sinful speech patterns:




David was fed up with flatterers. He was disgusted by those who boasted. However, he paints an even uglier picture as he describes those who refuse to submit their speech to the Lord. They declare boldly- “We can say what we want and nobody can do anything about it!”

In the New Testament, James also disagreed that a person was free to speak in any way he wanted. He condemned those who spoke so freely as to offer curses and condemnation towards others in their ugly battle for supremacy within the church. (James 3:1-12) Both Psalm 12 and James 3 should indicate to us that God should judge us for how we speak.


David tells us that a motivating factor in God taking action is when he sees the oppression of the weak and the suffering of those who are in need. It is a climactic moment when God begins to act in order to protect those who have sought to hurt us.

In this case, it isn’t death or destruction that God is seeking to protect the weak person from, but rather simple character assassination. In other words, God has a way of protecting a person’s reputation.

Psalm 37:1-8 has been a great comfort to me in times of character assassination that has come against me. There the Psalmist declares that we should trust God and continue doing right and while we refrain from wrath worry. Meanwhile, in the midst of the mudslinging coming our way God is busy revealing our true character and the justice of our cause. If we allow ourselves to become angry and let our mouth loose God is unable to properly defend us because we have taken on that responsibility for ourselves.

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