Psalm 12 is a psalm about words. Words are greater than deeds, same way that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ The two statements run parallel: Words > deeds. Pen > sword. It’s not that deeds are nothing. It’s that words are more.
Somehow the verse that punches most is vs 8: “The wicked walk around unrestrained because the sons of men promote depravity.” What a picture to visualize: ‘promoting depravity.’
It is a dire picture because “faithful people have vanished from among men,” something to be expected “for the loyal one is no more”—loyal to God, or in fact, anyone. No wonder the psalm begins with the cry, “Save me, O Jehovah.”
“They speak lies to one another; They flatter with their lips and speak with deceitful hearts.” They say, “We will prevail with our tongues. We use our lips as we please; Who will be our master?” Prevailing with tongues? Slick people do it all the time. It’s because the word is greater than the deed, as the pen is mightier than the sword. No wonder James likens the tongue to the tiny flame that sets the forest ablaze and the small rudder that steers the huge ship.
There is the appeal to Jehovah, whose sayings “are pure,” who “will rise up to act,” and “will save [the afflicted] from those who treat them with contempt.” Of course. “You will guard them, O Jehovah; You will protect each one of them from this generation forever.” Why does one think of that verse about the generation that is pure in its own eyes, whereas in reality they’ve not been washed from their own sh*t? (Proverbs 30:12) Whoa! How’s that for an image? ‘Promoting depravity,’ they are.
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