Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth - What idea could such people have of God, whom they supposed they could thus deceive? They promised well, they called him their God, and their fathers' God; and told him how good, and kind, and merciful he had been to them. Thus, their mouth flattered him. And they said that, whatever the Lord their God commanded them to do, they would perform.
And they lied unto him - I think the Vulgate gives the true sense of the Hebrew: Dilexerunt eum in ore suo; et lingua sua mentiti Bunt ei, - "They loved him with their mouth; and they lied unto him with their tongue." "That is," says the old Psalter, "thai sayde thai lufed God, bot thai lighed, als thair dedes schewes; for thai do noght als thai hight; for when God ceses to make men rad; than cese thai to do wele."
Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth - The word rendered “flatter” means properly “to open;” and hence, “to be open; to be ingenious or frank;” and then, to be easily persuaded, to be deluded, to be beguiled; and hence, also, in an active form, to persuade, to entice, to seduce, to beguile, to delude. The meaning here is, that they attempted to deceive by their professions, or that their professions were false and hollow. Those professions were the mere result of affliction. They were based on no principle; there was no true love or confidence at the foundation. Such professions or promises are often made in affliction. Under the pressure of heavy judgments, the loss of property, the loss of friends, or the failure of health, people become serious, and resolve to give attention to religion. It is rarely that such purposes are founded in sincerity, and that the conversions apparently resulting from them are true conversions. The Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate render the phrase here, “They loved with their mouth.”
And they lied unto him with their tongues - They made promises which they did not keep.
God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them and admire His handiwork. As we study His works, angels from heaven will be by our side to enlighten our minds and guard them from Satan's deceptions. As you look at the wonderful things that God's hand has made, let your proud, foolish heart feel its dependence and inferiority. How terrible it is when the acknowledgment of God is not made when it should be made! How sad to humble oneself when it is too late! CT 457.1
The psalmist declares, “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8. The whole of this psalm should find a place in the reading and spelling lessons of the school. The twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and seventy-eighth psalms tell of the rich blessings bestowed by God upon His people and of their poor returns for all His benefits. The eighty-first psalm explains why Israel was scattered—they forgot God, as the churches in our land are forgetting Him today. Consider also the eighty-ninth, ninetieth, ninety-first, ninety-second, and ninety-third psalms. CT 457.2
These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come; and should they not be studied in our schools? The word of God contains instructive lessons, given in reproof, in warning, in encouragement, and in rich promises. Would not such food as this be meat in due season to the youth? CT 457.3Read in context »