This Psalm of David gives us several pictures of the problems he sees in the world around him. Of interest, is the fact that David’s words could have been penned in our day! Many of the same things that plagued his culture also plague our culture. We are reminded of the old saying: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Truly, when it comes to human beings and our flawed human nature – nothing has changed since the beginning of all things.
This Psalm’s focus is another contrast… the words of people vs. the words of God.
First, we have the words of people. In verse 2, we see “neighbors lie to each other.” False statements abound. Deceitful words flow like water. And those who share life together (neighbors) cannot trust each other (because of the lies and deceit). Lies always tear down the foundation of trust, upon which all relationships are built!
What is more… is the heart behind the lies… Liars defend their words with an appeal to personal pride and freedom: “We will lie to our heart’s content… who can stop us!” (12:4) Rather than shame or repentance for their lies, those filled with deceit defend their words and revel in their ability to speak without restraint. They are “just speaking my mind.” Wisdom teaches us: “The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)
Second, we have flattering tongues… and boastful words – all from a fountain flowing from a “deceitful heart.” (12:2) Flattery is manipulative by nature. It seeks to gain by appealing to another person’s vanity. It distorts truth… for selfish gain.
Boastful words reflect a self-absorbed life. A commitment to one’s own self-interests at the expense of others.
In contrast, we have the words of the Lord. God’s words are filled with His promises to pour out His goodness on our lives. They are the expression of His love and compassion towards us. They are reflective of His Heart – to give generously according to His abundance.
David describes them as “like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.” God’s words do not flatter, they do not boast, they do not deceive – they are utterly pure, from a Heart that is utterly pure.
In this Psalm, the Lord is speaking. He is telling the poor and oppressed, those damaged by lies and deceit: “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them!”
In the end, God will defend the defenseless. His truth shall reign over the lies and the deceit. He will make right… everything that has been wrong.
Just as we have always longed for Him to do!