“I said in my haste, ‘All men are liars.’” Psalm 116:11
How many times in our lifetime, in the heat of the battle, in the face of the hardness and rebellion of sinners, have we hastily in our thoughts or words, written them off, forgetting that we are of like nature, but for the grace of God? In just the previous verses, the psalmist declares his trust in the LORD, and belief that the LORD was sovereign to spare him and deliver him, and then in the next breath, in the face of opposition and affliction, to denounce everyone in a general way as liars. We know that in all things, ‘Let God be true and every man a liar.’ Romans 3:4. So the psalmist was not wrong in declaring all men as liars, but rather in how he declared it. It was in haste, frustration, and reactionary to depraved sinners who opposed him. To be drawn into such denunciations of others, true though they may be, is not to our benefit, nor their benefit. Why?
1. Before we open our mouths to condemn others, let us first of all consider our own nature. When we denounce all men as liars, we must never forget that we are of the same nature in our sin. Is not what we speak of them true of ourselves? Do not the scriptures teach us that from birth, we ALL are estranged, and come forth speaking lies, Psalm 58:3? Being hasty in our reactions to others is blindness to our own sin that we are no better than those that we condemn.
2. Focusing on other’s faults and failings will always cause us to say things, or do things in haste that we will afterward regret, as the Spirit of the LORD brings them to mind. As the psalmist, being quickly reined in by the Spirit of God declared in the following verses, ‘What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the LORD,’ Psalm 116: 12, 13. This is always the right focus, looking to the LORD Jesus Christ, and considering what great pardon, mercy, grace, and justification we have already in Him, as His chosen, redeemed and called ones. Hebrews 13:6-“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” This is the thoughtful, Spirit motivated response rather than the reactionary condemnation of others, no matter how wicked or evil.
3. The Spirit of God never convicts us of someone else’s sin, but rather our own. Yes, all men are liars, but when the Spirit convicts of sin, it is ‘Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts,” Isaiah 6:5 The Spirit causing us to acknowledge our own sin, our mouths are stopped, and our eyes are turned again to our blessed Redeemer, in our need, as if no one else existed or mattered. Whether the LORD ever causes others to see their need, the Spirit causes us to know and feel our own, and cry unto Him for mercy, grace, and pardon in our Substitute.
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