FRIDAY, JULY 13
Proverbs 26:28; 27:14
Only one life ‘twill soon be past.
FLATTERING LIPS AND LYING TONGUE
King David is surrounded by more bad people than good. The former are in his army and in his court for the sake of their own belly. They jockeyed for position and power and used every stratagem to push themselves forward.
To jostle up the social ladder, David’s ambitious underlings use flatteries. They praise the king when they hate him in their heart. Their true colours are shown during the crisis of Absalom’s rebellion. They are like the fox who praises the crow for his beautiful singing in order to get his chunk of meat. As they do not mean what they say, flatterers are exposed as having two hearts. In Hebrew, David says, “He has a heart and a heart.” Flatterers are honey-tongued liars who bring bitterness and destruction. Solomon, surrounded by fawners and sycophants, had plenty to say about flatterers. Read Luke 6:26, a case of mutual flattering with double condemnation.
If flatterers are sweet liars, the boastful are pungent ones. While the former flatter others, the latter flatter themselves. Besieged by such perverseness, David cannot help but cry out to God for deliverance. Few are the godly and faithful by his side, but God is always a present help (Ps 46:1). As the king pronounces sentence on these perjurers, he hears the judgment that comes from above, upholding him. His rule over the kingdom is unshakeable because he has the mandate from Heaven. The Lord dispenses justice without fear or favour to one and all, relieving the poor and oppressed against the power of the high and mighty. God cannot bless a nation wherein justice can be bought at a price.
In contrast with man’s dubious words which are lighter than vanity, God’s Word is like sterling silver, solid and shining. God’s Word is the defence of the meek and weak, though the vile and wicked prowl about them. If David needed to call out to God for help against traitors in his kingdom, how much more must we, like sheep among wolves?
THOUGHT: Confucius says, “Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue” (Analects III).
PRAYER: Lord, help me to speak the truth always in love.