Psalm 12


This psalm tells us about David calling out to God for help, whilst living in a very ungodly society. David asks God to condemn the wicked and is confident that God would deliver him from all the ungodliness around him.

As we go through this psalm we see that David grieves because the ungodly appear to be flourishing.


‘For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

This psalm was for the director of music and written by David. Some commentators believe that the ‘director of music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6.

It was to be sung ‘according to sheminith’, which means according to the set to the eighth. This is a reference to some specific tune, much like song leaders do today when they ask the congregation to turn their hymn books to a certain hymn number.

‘Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbour; they flatter with their lips but harbour deception in their hearts. May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?” Psalm 12:1-4

We get a sense of David’s loneliness and as far as he is concerned there is no one who is faithful to the Lord, 1 Kings 18:22 / Jeremiah 7:25-28. David here describes what an ungodly society looks like, it’s full of hypocrites and liars.

Loving your neighbour doesn’t exist anymore and those who are righteous have become burdened. Flattery is used to manipulate others and so David asks God to silence their flattering tongues to help the righteous, Daniel 11:32.

This is a description of people who love to talk a lot, and they use their words to rule over the innocent, Matthew 6:7. Quite simply, they are hypocritical liars who never speak the truth, Ephesians 4:15 / Revelation 21:8.

Their attitude is seen in their words, ‘who will lord over us’? 1 Corinthians 6:20. This tells us just how bad the society in which David lived was. It was offensive and it was lawless, and so God promises to step in and remove them from society.

‘Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honoured by the human race.’ Psalm 12:5-8

God is going to deliver those who are vulnerable in society but the vulnerable need to be patient. The reason they need to be patient is because the vulnerable may think that God has forgotten about them and turned His back on them.

It appeared as though the wicked were reigning, but now God says it’s time for Him to arise and protect the righteous, Matthew 10:30-31.

Notice the contrast of God’s words with those hypocritical liars David mentioned earlier. Their words were empty, flattering and full of lies and so no one could trust them. The Lord’s words, however, are flawless and could be trusted. All his words were true and faithful and there in safety in relying on the promises of God.

Silver is purified in a crucible, the word ‘crucible’ implies a workshop and gold is refined seven times, which is done by using fire. The number ‘seven’ in the Scriptures means completeness or perfection.

In other words, the process is repeated seven times until the silver is totally pure, which tells us that the Lord’s words are completely pure, Psalm 119:151 / Luke 20:21 / 2 Timothy 3:16 / Revelation 21:5.

David says that vile men are honoured by society, this is the reason why the wicked prevail in society. When society has corrupt leaders, then society itself will be corrupt.


The world we live in today is much like the world David describes in this psalm. There are people who use empty words, Ephesians 5:6. They use flattery to get their own way, Proverbs 29:5-6, and they continually tell lies, Proverbs 12:22.

As Christians, we must shine amidst the darkness, Matthew 5:14-16 / Ephesians 5:8. We must not only let the world know that we are different, but we must also let them see that we are different, Philippians 2:14-15. We must let the world know that Jesus is the answer if we want to live in a godly society, John 6:68.

It’s difficult to trust anything anyone says these days, but we can trust God and His Word, 1 Corinthians 2:13 / 2 Peter 1:21 / 2 Timothy 3:16-17. His Word is good and pure and has been tested many times over the years and people have tried to ban it, but still, it prevails.

Many people lost their lives in order for us to have God’s Word today, but we must use it and proclaim it wherever we go, otherwise, the society we live in today will be far worse than the society which David describes in this psalm, Proverbs 29:18.

Go To Psalm 13


"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."