Psalm 12 A Plea For Help In Evil Times
1 Help, Lord; for there is no longer any that is godly;
for the faithful have vanished from among the sons of men.
2 Every one utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
4 those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is our master?”
5 “Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7 Do Thou, O Lord, protect us,
guard us ever from this generation.
8 On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
– Psalm 12
Commentary based on St. Thomas Aquinas
In Psalm 12, David gives a descriptive account of his enemies’ deceit, asks for their destruction, May the Lord cut off…, and describes the Lord’s hearing of his account.
When he says, lies/vain things, he sets forth the sign of the diminishment of sanctity: and this is twofold, namely, vanity and deceit. And the first sign of diminishment is vanity: and he says with respect to this, Everyone utters lies. A lie/vain thing is that which does not have subsistence.
He asks for his enemies’ destruction and states the reason, all flattering lips… as if the Lord doubly destroys them, namely in soul and in body.
He asks for his enemies’ perdition by grace, by the just judgment of God. He sets down their vainglory, the tongue that makes great boasts, concerning themselves before us, who repute them to be great men.
He sets down their blasphemy or pride, Our lips are with us. And this is the first species of pride, when somebody considers that he is in his circumstances simply by his own nature. The second species of pride is when someone wants to be glorified in some thing above all others; whence he says, Who is our master?
David establishes the certainty of God’s promise, The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure: not adulterated by the mixture of anything extraneous, but rather purified of the superfluous, or uncorrupted, because one is pure who is not only said to be so before the test, but also firm after the test.