From Chuck Lane
Questions for The Book of Psalms
Calvary Christian Fellowship
Questions (w/ some answers) for Psalm 12
1. Who is the Psalmist?
- A Psalm of David. To the chief Musician. Again, as in the previous Psalm, this Psalm is a response from David to great trial and tribulation, such as the faithful have always suffered and looked to the future fulfillment of persecution during the great Tribulation to come.
2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?
- David could very well be writing from his experience of being pursued by King Saul, and tracked by Doeg who assassinated 70 priests descended from Aaron through his son Ithamar, slaughtered their families and livestock at Saul’s command: 2 Samuel 22 . David is overwhelmed, feeling alone and defeated, separated from everything that matters to him: family, home, purpose. Perhaps not an isolated, uncommon experience . . . even for the just . . . especially for the just.
3. Who is the audience?
- David is crying out to the LORD, personally, but the Psalm is also an example for all who are trying to live more godly lives. Romans 15:4
4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?
1 Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men
- Apostasy. Noah knew it. David felt it. The patriarchs encountered it. The Hebrew children in the wilderness were tempted by it. David feels it here, not unlike Elijah, who says sometime later: 1 Kings 19:10; Israel, and later Judah, were judged because of it, the early Christians were persecuted by it, as they have been repeatedly throughout history even until today, and it will follow us into the end times, as it follows us today, like the leaven of the loaf. David is suffering from what’s called the Elijah complex. Have you ever felt it?
2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor; with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak
- This is what James calls being double minded, which begins with compromise, the notion that trusting God is not enough, especially when one is out-numbered; that we need to rely on the majority, because majority rules, even over the Word of God, which we can change it we agree to change it James 1:5-9 . George Orwell introduced the concept of Double-Speak in his novel 1984 (written in 1948: orwells doublespeak-the language of the left ). which is now widely employed by secular society, and is something Christians should not only recognize but avoid and certainly never resort to such prevarication with their own Word. Speak truth. Let your Yea be Yea, and your Nay be Nay.
3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us
- Apostasy becomes possible through the PRIDE (original sin) of man. When we say, or hear, “We are going to say what we please,” and we mean it, because we can . . . then we become as those whom Jude told us about, and much like Ahab and Jezebel during Elijah’s time: Jude verse 16 .
- Rather than going with the flow, subordinating the tried and true to the latest fade, caving to the politically correct, even unwilling to sacrifice in the face of an enemy, David tells us, once again, trust, to have faith, in the LORD . . .
5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD: I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at them
- It is best to remember His promises to us early on, rather than waiting until we have nothing left to do battle with. We can seek our security in our houses of straw, or even those of sticks . . . or we can secure salvation through His Word, our house of brick, built upon our Rock, the foundation of Our Savior, which stands against all the huffing and puffing the enemy.
He will put me in the cleft of the rocks, He will cover me with His hand: Exodus 33:20-22V ; Psalm 27:5 .
6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times
- Listen, if we don’t have a relationship with the LORD our Lord; that is, if we don’t spend time with Him in His Word, and speak to Him through prayer, how can we expect to survive the temptations that beset us on all sides (the trials that test us, the purifying we need to become more like Him surrendering ourselves, step by step, to the image He has for us, rather than going our own way to become the image we invent for ourselves to impress the world with) . . . what is to come of us if we take the easy way out, relying on our houses of straw and stick, when we should be running to His house of brick? Especially if we don’t know the way because we relied on here say/heresy ( Galatians 1:9 ), rather than what He actually says. His Word is our fortress.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this gereation for ever.
8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted
- The Bible Once again there are only two ways. His way, and any other way that we might choose. Today, we are living in the same sort of times as David was experiencing, and it will be the same sort of times in the end times. It has always been this way. We can either follow The Way, or we can turn our back on it and go our own way . . . there is no compromise, really. In either case there are consequences, and we need to know what they are before we find out. The Bible doesn’t tell us everything we may want to know, but it tells us what we need to know. And it tells us more than we think it tells us, if we pay attention.
Vernon McGee concludes his commentary on Psalm 12 by writing: We go through times when the enemy has the upper hand, but God won’t let something happen to His own unless it will accomplish some worthwhile purpose in their hearts and lives.
Isaiah writes in 66:5: Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
More than 700 years later Matthew (39-44) describes the scene at the foot of the cross thus: And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads. And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said I am the son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
And from the cross, Jesus prayed for them: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Then they gambled for his clothes . . . (Luke 23.34)
The Lord, on His way to the cross, perhaps identifying with David, even Elijah’s feelings of being alone and defeated “. . . said unto the chief priest, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luke 22:52-53)
Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13 instruct us: There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but god is faithful, who will not suffer to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Later Paul tells us that “. . . all things work together for good to them that love God . . .” (be sure to read the whole passage for context Romans 8:29-34V )
Peter tells us that it may not always turn out the way we want it to, or think it should: But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” [1 Peter 3:14]; (see 1 Peter 2:21-25)
Indeed, Paul writes: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. [Galatians 2:20]. And then he concludes: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. [2 Corinthians 5:8]
5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate?
6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? http://www.jesuswalk.com/psalms/psalms-NT-quotations.htm
7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?).