Whispers and shouts are powerful words. Both have a way of spreading lies and giving false impressions. We may shout to appear powerful. We may whisper to turn opinion against the good. Over time, “godly people cease to be and the faithful disappear from among the sons of Adam.” In Psalm 12 the Psalmist calls upon the LORD to deal with false words and calls upon the congregation to attend to the one True Word. The Psalmist prays that the LORD will cut off lips of flattery and tongues of boasting, the ways the wicked create alliances, through inspiring admiration and fear. When we boast, “I can say what I want and God doesn’t care,” the LORD will judge us by those words. When we flatter to get what we want, the LORD will judge us by those words as well. In contrast, when the afflicted and needy cry out to the LORD, the LORD hears their cries and will save them.
What stands over the lies and the cries are the Words of the LORD; these are pure words (v6) like silver tried in a furnace seven times. As God’s words are true, trustworthy and pure, goodness is produced in us as we trust His promises of shelter and deliverance. Our efforts to rescue ourselves through words that invoke fear or contain flattery will backfire. Trusting God’s word, frees us from depending on those devices, knowing that we can express open heartedness and openhandedness. If flattery and boasting, whispering and shouting, seems to be producing winners, that will be short lived. The meek will inherit the earth. The irony is that we who are crying to God for help now, are those whose future is most secure.