Notes (NET Translation)
For the music director; according to the sheminith style; a psalm of David.
1 Deliver, Lord! For the godly have disappeared; people of integrity have vanished.
2 People lie to one another; they flatter and deceive.
Lies, here, are more accurately ’emptiness’, a term which embraces falsehood but also its fringe of the insincere and irresponsible, which cheapen and corrode all human intercourse.1
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that boasts!
4 They say, “We speak persuasively; we know how to flatter and boast. Who is our master?”
The imagined words of the wicked (v 5) indicate the power within their grasp through the mastery of speech (cf. Jas 3:6–12), but their ultimate crime was that of hubris: Who will be our master?—and they believed the answer to be “No one”! The pride within them came forth in arrogant speech; refusing to acknowledge the mastery of God, they oppressed with their tongues the servants of God. So the psalmist prays that such speech be terminated (v 4).2
5 “Because of the violence done to the oppressed, because of the painful cries of the needy, I will spring into action,” says the Lord. “I will provide the safety they so desperately desire.”
6 The Lord’s words are absolutely reliable. They are as untainted as silver purified in a furnace on the ground, where it is thoroughly refined.
The Lord’s words are contrasted with the words of humans from vv. 1-4.
7 You, Lord, will protect them; you will continually shelter each one from these evil people,
The psalmist’s confidence is due to the reliability of God’s words, not because of a change in his circumstances.
8 for the wicked seem to be everywhere, when people promote evil.
Craigie, Peter C., and Marvin E. Tate. Psalms 1-50. Nashville: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2004.
Goldingay, John. Psalms: Volume 1: Psalms 1-41. Kindle Edition. Baker Academic, 2006.
Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2008.
VanGemeren, Willem. Psalms. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2008.