Scripture reading – Psalm 12
Make no mistake, “political correctness” is neither new, nor correct. Psalm 12:1-8 exposes “political correctness” for what it is—a vehicle for attacking Truth and silencing those who believe God’s Word and accept its morality as just and right.
Psalm 12 is titled, “A Psalm of David,” and is the cry of a king who witnessed the retreat of a godly remnant, and in the king’s words, were all but extinct. David lamented:
Psalm 12:1 – “Help [deliver; save; avenge], LORD; for the godly man [saint] ceaseth [come to an end]; for the faithful [true; people of faith; believers] fail [disperse; disappear] from among the children of men.”
The date and setting that inspired Psalm 12 is not given, but the time of Absalom’s insurrection would certainly stir the sentiments we find in this passage. David cried out to the LORD to save the faithful, and avenge those who obey His law and revere Him (12:1).
Psalm 12:2-4 – “They speak [say; declare] vanity [deceit; evil] every one with his neighbor [friend; companion]: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering [smooth] lips [language; speech], and the tongue that speaketh [declares; tells] proud [great; magnify] things:
4 Who have said [declared; tell], With our tongue will we prevail [strengthen; act insolently]; our lips are our own: who is lord [master; sovereign; owner] over us?
Remembering the manipulative ways of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:1-2), and the way he won the heart of the people by self-promotion at the expense of the king’s reputation (2 Samuel 15:3-5), we can identify David’s description of the smooth lips and double-tongued nature of the wicked (12:2). With a “double heart,” and insolent “flattering lips” the wicked assail the godly, rejecting the authorities in their lives (12:4).
The believers of our day would do well to take a page out of David’s “playbook” and realize the nature of man has not changed! The wicked are emboldened by their peers (12:2), and should they go unchallenged by the righteous, they will prevail against those in authority (12:4b).
Though the wicked revel in their lies, and boast with their lips, David assured the godly, “The LORD shall cut off all flattering [smooth] lips [language; speech], and the tongue that speaketh [declares; tells] proud [great; magnify]things” (12:3). Believer, take solace in this; The LORD will “cut off,” expose, and take vengeance against those who deny Him and rail against His people.
Psalm 12:5 – “For the oppression [spoil; destruction] of the poor [afflicted; depressed; needy], for the sighing [groaning; cries] of the needy [beggar; destitute], now will I arise [stand up], saith the LORD; I will set [array; appoint] him in safety [salvation; safety; liberty; prosper] from him that puffeth [scoffs; kindles as a fire] at him.”
David reminded his faithful followers that God is patient, longsuffering, and merciful toward sinners. However, He is just, and He will avenge the wicked who oppress the poor and needy. In this instance, the “poor and needy” are not necessarily financially challenged or destitute, but are afflicted and oppressed by the actions of the wicked.
The wicked boast, and oppress others, not understanding that the LORD is longsuffering, and extends liberty to sinners for a season. However, He declares He will rise up against the wicked, and pour out His wrath on those who “puffeth” and scoff at the poor and afflicted (12:5).
Psalm 12:6-7 – “6 The words [speech; commands] of the LORD are pure [clean; fair; no falsehood] words: assilver tried [refined] in a furnace of earth, purified [purged; refined] seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep [preserve; guard; protect] them [the poor and needy of vs. 5] , O LORD, thou shalt preserve [guard; protect] them from this generation [age] for ever.”
Unlike the speech of the wicked (12:2-4), the words of the LORD (His Laws and Commandments) are pure, like refined silver that has passed through the furnace seven times (12:6). The words of the wicked are full of vain promises; however, the Word of the LORD is faithful and true from generation to generation (12:7).
Psalm 12:8 – “The wicked [immoral; guilty; criminal] walk [go; behave] on every side [every place], when the vilest [worthless] men are exalted [raised up; high; emboldened].”
You need only read Psalm 12:8 to understand what has become of our world! Citizens of this world have invited the wrath of God by promoting the vilest of men and women to rule over them. God’s people should not be surprised, nor wonder why lawlessness abounds in the 21st century. David states the principle cause for pervasive wickedness: “The wicked [immoral; guilty; criminal] walk [go; behave] on every side [every place], when the vilest [worthless] men are exalted [raised up; high; emboldened]” (12:8).
Closing thoughts – My own country has “exalted…the vilest men,” prompting lawlessness as wickedness runs unchecked in our communities. A spirit of rebellion, promoted as a demand for rights, has seized upon the spiritual vacuum in our youth, while fanning the flames of anarchy in the hearts of our children. When the godly are silent, the wicked are strengthened, and will “walk on every side.” Continue to elect the “vilest men,” and lawlessness will prevail.
In spite of how “badly” things might go in society, God’s people should never forget the LORD’S promises are forever true. King David aptly stated: God’s words are “pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of wrath, purified seven times (12:6). Those who trust in the LORD, He will “keep…and preserve” (12:7).
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith