For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “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.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
This Psalm is the Psalm of David. It doesn’t not allude to any particular event. Some commentaries state that this might be written when David was threatened by the allies of Saul. Some commentaries state that David wrote this psalm to describe the corruption during King Saul’s reign and also about this suffering trusting in some of those officials whose heart was to back stab him.
Matthew Henry gives title to the Psalm in the following way:
I. He begs help of God, because there were none among men whom he durst trust (v. 1, v. 2).
II. He foretells the destruction of his proud and threatening enemies (v. 3, v. 4).
III. He assures himself and others that, how ill so ever things went now (v. 8), God would preserve and secure to himself his own people (v. 5, v. 7), and would certainly make good his promises to them (v. 6).
David starts this psalm with a complaint to God. One of the most important virtues that people expect from each other is truthfulness and honesty. In verse 1 David looks for the virtue of faithfulness and loyalty among the people. But he couldn’t find any. Especially he faces many battles in life. He is looking for people that he can rely on. But he is unable to rest his heart on anyone. He says the loyal people are all vanished from the human race.
Verse 2 is continuation of verse 1. He describes how wicked and deceitful humans are. Humans are very good at hiding themselves. Especially when Adam sinned he hid himself from God. David talks about people who hide themselves and show a different face outside. They show a very nice face outside so that people can trust them and be in fellowship with them. But inside they do not have any affection for others but are very different.
They flatter. Flattering is false praise. Many humans are like this. When they need favor from others or win people’s favor, they flatter. The praise the other person which wasn’t true praise, but praise with an intent.
They are people that grow the spirit of deception in their heart. The very goal of their lives is to deceive others just like Satan, who kills.
David prays to God pleading Him to silence all those who flatter and speak falsity. He feels very insecure with these people whom He is not able to trust.
Verse 4 is continuation of verse 3. He tries to define the inner attitude of these people that lie. They are those people that say by our own tongues we prevail and no one is above us. He means to say these are arrogant and Godless people who want to put themselves above everyone and speak without the fear of God.
David records the reply of God for his prayer. God is the God of mercy. He keeps watching the poor and the needy being afflicted giving unrighteous time to repent. When they donot repent but continuously press on the poor and needy, he cannot but help the needy and protect them from those who are pressing them.
In the context of this psalm, the afflicted are the victims of unfaithfulness, lies and flatter. The reply from the Lord is really comforting.
David believes that the words of the Lord are unchanging. Through humans forget and keep changing, God does not change. He remains the same saving people from the wicked. His words are so pure like silver that is purified in a crucible and gold that is refined more than 7 times.
Verse 7 & 8
David says that God will keep the needy safe and will protect the needy from the wicked. He gives an explanation of the wicked. These are the people that walk confidently when things that are unpleasant are honored by the human race.