Vv. 3-4: “May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, Who have said, ‘With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?’”
Fr. Patrick makes the claim in his commentary on this psalm that it is an example of the way Scripture goes against the idea prevalent in today’s society that “[h]uman society, no matter how sinful and deceived, is named the final authority over speech, which is responsible only to those who use it…” He makes the claim based on the idea that man can arbitrarily decide what words mean without regard for the objective truth of God, which was the original purpose of man’s use of speech (cf. Adam’s naming of the animals).
A good idea, I think, but a bit too general…the nature of the defining of individual words is in fact societal and arbitrary; the framing of our thoughts depends on a common societal agreement regarding the meaning of the individual words strung together to express said thoughts. But individual words’ definitions determine neither the capacity nor the tendency of a society to reflect God’s truth either accurately or poorly. Any rendering of individual words is capable of either reflecting or refuting God’s truth; it is the realization of this capability -- transcending as it does the mere use of individual words’ definitions – that determines either the godly or corrupt heart of a people.