“THEY FLATTERED … THEY LIED” D.Caudery Scanning our eyes through today’s reading of Psalm 78, our attention was arrested by the many references to God’s people Israel that – they did this, and they did that – the word “they” occurs 27 times! This was things they did – or did not do. Let us meditate on this.
God’s eyes are on Israel because they are his chosen people! So what did his angels see as they looked into their hearts. There were times, we read, when “they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly. They remembered that God was their rock, the most High God, their redeemer” [v.34,35] That is all to their credit and the same can be said of followers of Christ in all ages, when they started to follow him.
However, are the next 2 verses equally true of Jews and Christians? We read – “But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not faithful toward him; they were not faithful …” [v.36-37]
How would you expect God to react to this behaviour? We read on .. “Yet he, being compassionate … did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often… “ [v.38] This is evidence of the ‘God of love’ that many Christian leaders talk about, portraying him as ever merciful, that believers ‘once saved are always saved’! The slogan is – you don’t have to worry about sin! But isn’t it human nature, the more you get away with something, the more you do it!
It seems clear that is how human nature worked with the Jewish religious leaders, they even killed their Messiah!
But back to the Psalm, ultimately the time came, the Psalmist has to say, when God “was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel” [v.59]. Here is a very sober warning for believers today. Could worship be just “flattery” from a heart that is not genuinely “steadfast”?
We read in Hebrews 3 v.13, “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ if … “ [Hebrews 3 v.13,14] Turn it up and read the rest. It seems clear that the world of ‘today” is not going to last much longer, let us be genuine believers – from our hearts – and then we will not be swept away with the world.