Where have the godly gone? That seems to be the resounding question today amidst ever increasing evil and those who have gone away from the Lord. This was David’s concern as well when He wrote Psalm 12. David desired for Israel to fulfill God’s plan as His people, but sin was ruining that. His cry of help to the Lord was one longing for his people to turn away from sin and back to the Lord. In verse 1, David said, “The godly man ceases to be” and “the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.” I have often wondered what happened to those who used to follow the Lord? They used to serve, give, and show many signs of growth in the Lord. Now, they are nowhere to be found. David points out what causes this wandering away from the Lord.
Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). The mouth is not the problem, the heart is. The mouth is only an indicator of the real problem. In other words, the mouth displays the fruit in which the heart is rooted. David said those who had gone away from the Lord were lying (v. 2a), flattering (v. 2b), and two-faced (v. 2c). Satan is the father of a lie (John 8:44) and God hate a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:17). A flattering tongue basically tells people whatever they want to hear. It is rooted in selfishness in order to gain approval or appear sincere. The flatterer gives false encouragement for the purpose of advancing their own self-centered agenda. Someone who is two-faced, or “with a double heart” (v. 2) as David said, doesn’t have a divided heart, they have two heart. This person isn’t torn on what to say. They say one thing with one group and something different with another. A lying, flattering, two-faced heart is not a heart of God! That kind of heart is truly revealed when they say, “Our lips are our own, who is lord over us”.
But, Scripture tells us we will give account for every idol word we say (Matthew 12:36). God is not like man that lies (Number 23:19). He does not flatter but gives “pure words” (v. 6a). God’s words are “refined seven times”, meaning they go way beyond flawless (Proverb 30:5). The Lord will give them refuge and the “safety for which he longs” (v. 6b). That’s something you can count on! Since God is eternal (Isaiah 40:28) and so is His Word (1 Peter 1:25), He has the ability to “keep” and “preserve” those who trust in Him from “this generation forever” (v. 7). The words “this generation” imply an ending to those and their words that go against the Lord. “Forever” is also a statement of the eternal nature of God and His truth. While those who have gone away from the Lord may “strut around” claiming every “vile” falsehood is truth, the church must side with the Lord because, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
1. Which do you struggle with the most: lying, flattery, or double-talk?
2. Why do you think a lie sounds better than truth in the moment?
3. Do you believe all of God’s word is true? What other Bible verses back this up?
Lord, You and your word are truth. Sanctify me by Your truth. Help me see past the enemies lies. As part of your church, I will not allow truth to be overtaken by lies, flattery, and double-talk. Help me to speak the truth in love, stand on your word, and love truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.