Flattery. The psalmist highlights the reality and prevalence of flattery in society – even among neighbours (v.2). False compliments and “fawning congratulations” are manipulative. Those who are recipients “know that if they take they must give them” to the flatterer. Thus, flattery must be taken seriously for it is a form of lying and deception. This should not surprise us for such words come from a “double heart,” by which people show us one side of their heart but the other side is “black with contempt for me, or foul with intent to cheat me”. Such deception is opposed by God (v.3). how can our speech be radically different? One, we need to call on God for his help (v.1) for we cannot tame the tongue ourselves (James 3). Two, we allow God to shape our hearts so our conversations reflect the way God speaks (v.6). “What God’s words are, the words of his children should be. If we would be God-like in conversation, we must watch our language, and maintain the strictest purity of integrity and holiness in all our communications”.
The Psalms for Everyday Living. By David J. McKinley – used with permission
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 11-14