Shabbat Shalom all,
Tehillim/Psalm 17:1 “A prayer of Dawiḏ. Hear righteousness, יהוה, listen to my cry; give ear to my prayer, from lips without deceit.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘prayer’ is תְּפִלָּה tephillah – Strong’s H8605 and comes from the word פָּלַל palal – Strong’s H6419 which means ‘to intercede, intervene, make supplication, and judgement made favourable’ and in essence carries the meaning ‘to apply to a judge for a favourable decision’. Here in this ‘prayer’, Dawiḏ is seeking the favour and protection of Elohim against his enemies and those who were seeking his life; and he was asking that יהוה listens to his cry and gives ear to his prayer – a prayer and earnest request that was coming from lips without deceit! In our earnest plea, as beloved children of the Most High, we too make our cry unto יהוה each and every day, yet we must recognise and learn that our prayers must come from lips without deceit! Dawiḏ was a king that teaches us the need to have lips and hearts that are in sync with the purity of righteousness, and when Dawiḏ is asking יהוה to hear his prayer from lips without deceit, he is also making it clear that his heart is not far from Elohim, but rather his words reflect the true condition of his zealous heart for יהוה, for he too prays that his prayer for protection also comes from a pure and undefiled heart!
It is this word ‘deceit’ that I want us to look at a little more closely tonight, as we recognise the need to be on guard against any form of deceit, be it from that which we hear and learn from, as well as that which we say and do!
In a message tonight called, ‘THE DECEITHFUL DANGER OF DECEIT!’ I want us to look at a passage from Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9 (Read)
At the beginning of this chapter we see how Yirmeyahu is lamenting for the faithlessness and folly of the people. People who had rejected the Word of יהוה, and were facing some severe punishment and judgement from Elohim. Yirmeyahu was really broken up about the twisted wickedness and deceit that he saw all around, and recognises that all his tears would not be enough to intercede for this people, though he would weep more if he could! In his desperate cry he makes it clear that he would have preferred to run away from all of this nonsense and hide out in the Wilderness in a lodging place for sojourners – if he had one that is! How often do you feel like this? How often do you feel like you would much rather run away and get away from all the junk people get up to today? Yirmeyahu called the people adulterers and an assembly of treacherous men! Pretty harsh words indeed, yet this was the state of the nation who had rejected the Torah of יהוה!
The Hebrew root word for ‘adulterous’ is נָאַף naaph – Strong’s H5003 which means, ‘to commit adultery, adulterer, adulterers, adulteress’ and it is written in the ‘piel form’, which expresses the intensive or intentional action and figuratively this word renders the meaning of, ‘idolatrous worship’. Yisra’ĕl had adulterated themselves through the idolatrous worship of the false pagan ones of the nations, as well as in their vain attempts at worshipping יהוה according to the ways of the nations, which he strictly prohibits:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:9 “When you come into the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those gentiles.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘treacherous’ is בָּגַד bagad – Strong’s H898 which means, ‘to act or deal treacherously, act deceitfully, faithless, transgressor’ and this verb is used to denote unfaithfulness in several different relationships; and it is used in connection with unfaithfulness in marriage – and more specifically how Yisra’ĕl had acted treacherously toward Elohim:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:20 “But indeed as a wife betrays her husband, so have you betrayed Me, O house of Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה.”
This word בָּגַד bagad also carries the literal meaning of ‘to cover (with a garment)’, bringing about the figurative meaning of ‘acting covertly’. And today this is how we see so many that have transgressed the Covenant, acting covertly – and that is through the cover up of lies and the dogmas and traditions of man, that so many hold fast to while forsaking true obedience to the commands of Elohim.
People who act covertly ‘speak with a bent tongue’! Yirmeyahu tells us here that these treacherous adulterers bend their tongue like a bow! The Hebrew word used here for ‘bend’ is דָּרַךְ darak – Strong’s H1869 as is written in the ‘hiphil active’ tense, which renders the meaning, ‘to tread down, to tread (bend with the foot) a bow, to cause to go, lead, march tread’. What is interesting to take note of here is that a derivative of this word is the word we clearly understand as that which represents our ‘walk’, and that is the word דֶּרֶךְ derek – Strong’s H1870 which means, ‘way, road, distance, journey’. The words of the treacherous adulterers will arm themselves with words that are often so powerfully used to lead astray so many; and herein lies our earnest need to carefully consider our ways on a daily, or even a moment by moment basis!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘bow’ is קֶשֶׁת qesheth – Strong’s H7198 which means, ‘bow, archer, arrows’ and comes from the primitive root קָשָׁה qashah – Strong’s H7185 which means, ‘to be hard, severe or fierce, stiffened’ in the original sense of the primitive root word קוּשׁ qosh – Strong’s H6983 meaning, ‘to lay bait, ensnare’, and this is what the wicked words of the treacherous adulterers do to those who are not considering their ways before Elohim – they ensnare in order to lead astray! With this wicked state of this adulterous nation, we see in verse 3 how there was only falsehood, and not truth, that was prevailing upon the earth!!! There was no longer a nation, who was called to be a light to the nations, being that actual light, as their actions and words were as false as the nations! In the process they were proceeding from evil to evil. With this proceeding from evil to evil – we see the clear reality of how they had not known יהוה.
Despite Yisra’ĕl’s claim to ‘know’ יהוה, while they were clearly walking in rebellion to His commands, יהוה made it clear that despite their lip service, their actions proved that they did not ‘know’ Him!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:3-4 “An ox knows its owner and a donkey its master’s crib – Yisra’ĕl does not know, My people have not understood.” 4 Alas, sinning nation, a people loaded with crookedness, a seed of evil-doers, sons acting corruptly! They have forsaken יהוה, they have provoked the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, they went backward.”
In this rebuke given to a rebellious and apostate people, it is made clear that even an ox ‘knows’ its owner and a donkey knows its master’s crib, yet Yisra’ĕl do not know יהוה. Here this word ‘know’ is also the Hebrew word יָדַע yada – Strong’s H3045 and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice.
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
To ‘know’ יהוה implies the clear ability to ‘hear’ His voice and guard to do what He commands, for then He shall know His own!!!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.”
To love Elohim, gives us the sure promise that we are known by Him! Sadly many do not ‘know’ what love for Elohim is:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.”
The Greek word used for ‘know’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which means, ‘to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of’. As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah. There are so many liars out there today who claim to know Elohim, yet they have no knowledge of His Torah at all, as they refuse to sit and learn His Word – how can they know Him!!! It is one thing to claim that you know Him, yet whether we know Him or not is seen in the fruit of our obedience to His commands, and all will be clearly revealed when He returns – as many will come running, claiming they know Him, yet will be rejected!
Those who claim to ‘know’ Elohim, while they show a clear disregard for His Torah and the needed obedience to His commands, are simply filled with deceit!
Yirmeyahu goes on to tell us that everyone should beware of his neighbour and not trust any brother! In this cry and complaint of the treachery and folly of the people, Yirmeyahu is lamenting over their circumstances, and he had certainly had enough of all the lies and deceit that was proceeding from these adulterous people who claimed to know Elohim.
In speaking of the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, Dawiḏ tells us in:
Tehillim/Psalm 64:3-4 “Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrows, a bitter word, 4 to shoot in ambush at someone blameless, they shoot at him suddenly and do not fear.”
The treacherous just love to shoot out accusative words at the blameless, and will do it without notice! The state of the land was crippling, to say the least, as everyone was deceiving his neighbour, and no one was speaking the truth. Lies and hypocrisy was the state of this people!!! A lie cannot exist on its own, as it has to be a twist or deception of something truthful that has been spoken! Here these people were bending the truth, and today we recognize how hard it is for so many to come out of the ‘lies’ of our fathers, who through years of falsehood and treachery, have caused the masses to believe the lies rather than the truth!
In verse 5 we see it being said very clearly – that they had taught their tongue to speak falsehood! The Hebrew word translated as ‘taught’ is לָמַד lamad – Strong’s H3925 which carries the meaning, ‘to exercise in, learn, instruct, teach, train’, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘falsehood’ is שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, ‘deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies’. These people had actually ‘taught’ themselves, that is to ‘exercise themselves and be trained in’, falsehood and lies!!! This is pretty much the state of the church and Christianity today – teaching, instructing and training people in deception and falsehood! This is why so many act falsely – rendering themselves as not true people of Elohim, for the people of Elohim do not act falsely:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 63:8: “And He said, “They are My people, children who do not act falsely.” And He became their Saviour.”
Under the misguided teachings of falsehood and lies, the sure result is that there will be a people who speak and do that which they are taught, while those who are true hearers and doers of the truth and sit and learn at the feet of the Master, shall speak and do what He teaches through His Living Word!
In verse 6 the very sobering reality of what Yirmeyahu was living among was made very clear indeed! He was living in the midst of deceit, and it was through deceit that they had refused to know Elohim!!!
Deceit is a dangerous thing – for it is through deceit that many do not know Elohim, while reckoning to themselves that they do! יהוה loathes a man of deceit:
Tehillim/Psalm 5:6 “You destroy those speaking falsehood; יהוה loathes a man of blood and deceit.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘deceit’ here in Yirmeyahu 9:6 is מִרְמָה mirmah – Strong’s H4820 which means, ‘deceit, treachery, dishonesty, falsehood’, and also is used in Amos 8:5 with reference to those who couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to be over so that they could trade and falsify their scales by deceit!
When Dawiḏ asked the question of who may go up into the mountain of יהוה, he tells us in:
Tehillim/Psalm 24:4 “He who has innocent hands and a clean heart, who did not bring his life to naught, and did not swear deceivingly.”
Obedient hands, an undefiled heart and no deceitful words – that is who may ascend the mountain of יהוה!
So many today will swear that they follow the Master and walk in His Torah, while their actions show a clear breaking of obedience when they compromise in the smallest things – and that is deceit!
In these last days when deceit is all around, we recognise how small the true remnant of Elohim’s Bride is, and as יהוה restores a clean lip unto the remnant few, they will call on the Name of יהוה and serve Him with one shoulder, and we are told in:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12-13 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה. 13 “The remnant of Yisra’ĕl shall do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood, nor is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth. For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, with none to frighten them.”
No tongue of deceit found in their mouths!!!
Let no deceit be found in you, is a clear message we all need to hear in these last days – for the deceitful danger of deceit can cause us to be slain with the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, the treacherous and adulterers, who do know יהוה, nor love Him as they do not guard His commands!
Deceit causes one to refuse to know Elohim, and deceit is a very dangerous and poisonous thing – it will cloud your judgement and your ability to think straight!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:10-11 “For “He who wishes to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it.”
The Greek word used here for ‘deceit’ is δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, ‘a bait, craft, deceit’. יהושע Messiah tells us in Marqos/Mark 7:22 that deceit is one of the defiling things that comes out of a man’s heart! What I find interesting to take note of here is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, a very similar sounding word with only one additional letter – ῦ – and this can certainly help us realise how fine a line it is between being a true faithful servant of the Most High, in which there is found no deceit and being one in which there is deceit!
In Yoḥanan/John 1:47 when יהושע saw Nethanĕ’l coming toward Him, He said of Nethanĕ’l:
“See, truly a Yisra’ĕlite, in whom is no deceit!” – what a powerful compliment to receive, yet what we can learn from this is very clear: נְתַנְאֵל Nethanĕ’l – Strong’s H5417 means, ‘given of Ĕl’, and here was a faithful servant who knew the Scriptures and when he heard the voice of Messiah He knew the voice of the true Vine and Master and King:
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The time was ‘ripe’ and while most did not recognise Messiah, this ‘given one of El’ did – Messiah found a faithful servant in whom there was no deceit! This is encouraging for us in showing us that it does not matter how blind the masses are, we whose eyes have been opened can still guard His commands, sit and learn under the hand of our Master and have no deceit in us… the question is when He does come again… shall He find you walking in faith or in deceit!!!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘deceives’ is verse 5 of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9 is הָתַל hathal – Strong’s H2048 which means, ‘to deceive, mock’! So many today show a clear mockery toward the truth, as their actions of a taught falsehood show that they are under the power of a destructive deception that has twisted and falsified the truth – so much so that most do not even ask if what they are doing is a lie or not!
In speaking of those who lack true knowledge and understanding we see in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:20 “Feeding on ashes, a deceived heart turns him aside, and he does not deliver his being, nor says, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Today we find how so many people are deceived to the point where they are unable to even ask the simple question of whether their actions and beliefs are based on truth or twisted traditions!
Because of the increase of deception, יהוה makes it clear in verse 7 what He was going to do to this deceived and deceitful people – He was going to refine them and try them. This is a clear action of His great loving-commitment toward His Covenants of promise! The Hebrew word translated as ‘refine’ is צָרַף tsaraph – Strong’s H6884 which means, ‘to smelt, refine, test, tried’, and we see this being used in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:31 “The Ěl – His way is perfect; the Word of יהוה is proven; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
The one thing we can be sure of is that the Word of יהוה is proven and trustworthy! We are able to fully trust His Word – for it is the only ‘word’ that can be trusted. How many times have you found that the words of friends, families, colleagues and even strangers have failed to meet up with what they spoke? How many times has your word failed – your words and promises to friends, families, colleagues and strangers? The Word of יהוה never fails!!!
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘try’ is בָּחַן baḥan – Strong’s H974 which means, ‘to examine, try, test’:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:10 “I, יהוה, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Our obedience to His commands is tried and tested as we sojourn here, and walk as true ambassadors of His coming kingdom.
Refined and tried – are those whom will call on His Name:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 13:9 “And I shall bring the third into fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My Name, and I shall answer them. I shall say, ‘This is My people,’ while they say, ‘יהוה is my Elohim.’ ”
The objective of this judgement upon a deceitful people was a purification and not a complete destruction, yet we know that those who are stubborn to His Word refining and trying them, shall be destroyed and given as food for the birds and the beasts!
Judgement was clearly being declared upon a people who had forsaken the Torah of Elohim and had not obeyed His voice, nor walked according to it! They may have been hearers, yet they were hearers alone and not doers of His Word, as they had gone after the wicked teachings of their fathers who had taught them to follow the Ba’al’s! It is for this reason that Elohim scattered the tribes and herein lies the call for a mourning and lamentation!!! This was not a time for any to boast in his own wisdom, but rather if anyone would boast they should boast of this: That he understands and knows יהוה! There were not many who could actually boast as such; and today it is no different, yet the world boasts that they know Elohim, while their boasting is clearly in vain! There is a time coming when all flesh shall be judged, whether you have been circumcised in the flesh or not!!! Circumcision of the flesh is of no value, as Sha’ul reminds us in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 7:19 “The circumcision is naught, and the uncircumcision is naught, but the guarding of the commands of Elohim does matter!”
יהוה looks at the heart and this is where deceit lies!!! This was the state of a deceitful Yisra’ĕl – they were uncircumcised in heart! In verse 24 יהוה clearly makes it known that He shows loving-commitment with those He is in Covenant with, and as I have previously mentioned, what we find in Scripture is that the Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ – חֶסֶד ḥesed is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship, and it is used in regards to a bond or relationship that produces in the bond itself a requirement or an obligation for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḥesed and can expect from each other and even demand in a sense reciprocal responsibilities, and so חֶסֶד ḥesed is not a free gift, as it is based on a covenant relationship that is given to us as a gift!
We therefore have a clear responsibility to walk in our Master and Redeemer and ensure that we forsake not loving-commitment!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”.
In a time where falsehood and lies, and the dogmas and traditions of man are taught to the masses as truth, we must be on guard against the very powerful deceptive dangers of deceit itself!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:18 “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become foolish, so that he might become wise”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
In a world where deceit seems to be the modus operandi of the majority, we need to be aware against falling into the same trap where deceit is spoken from our lips! The true remnant Bride must guard Her mouth and speak truth, always!
Be honest with others, be honest with yourself and most of all be honest with Elohim, for Him you cannot deceive!
If you have done wrong, be honest – own up – do not deceive up, so to speak!
Let me ask you – ‘how often have you found that you have acted or spoken in deceit?’ And before you answer too quickly by saying never, think for a moment – ‘Have you ever strayed from being completely and totally honest?’ – there is no such thing as a ‘white lie’ when walking in the Truth! Often when the pressures of this world come upon us, the pressure to compromise can become very strong indeed; and sadly in this case there are times when many act in deceit in order to cover up their stubbornness and sin, and act covertly in trying to ‘cover up’ their compromise through the wicked cloak of deceit. One can deceives oneself, and even deceive others, but we can never deceive Elohim – for He sees what is going on in the heart! In the process of deceit, through self-justification, many do not even regard themselves as guilty of deceit, as their ability to measure up against the true plumb-line of the word is jaded through deceit!
How often have you found yourself having promised to do something, only to find that you quickly and easily forget and neglect to do that which you said you would? That is deceitful behaviour!!! Has there ever been times when you have deceitfully lied to your neighbour and brothers, especially about what you have been or have not been doing, especially when justifying your own actions of neglect toward the Truth? Many times people will have deceit on their lips when telling others the reason or reasons for not complying with the clear simplicity of the Truth, as they so desperately cling to and refuse to let go of the deceitful traditions of men that are taught as truth, and in the process defend their own deceit, regarding their own deceitful words as acceptable truth! This we are to be warned against, for the deceitful danger of deceit is very wicked and destructive, and hazardous to the life of a called out set apart one!
My question to you tonight is simply this – “is there any deceit in your life?” Let there not be!
We are told in Scripture that the deceitfulness of wealth chokes out the Word – has the deceit of wealth caused you to stray from feeding on the Word and breathing in the fear of יהוה?
Have you allowed compromise to the Truth in any way to cause you to deceitfully justify your actions as seemingly lawful, yet deep down when looking intently into the mirror of the Word you may actually find elements of deceit!
It is time for the True Bride and the True worshippers of Elohim to worship in Spirit an Truth! Let no deceit be found in you – if there has been – come clean and confess to our Master and let Him cleanse you and heal you, so that you can boast that you understand and know Him, as you faithfully guard His commands and love Him with all your heart, all your being and all your might!
While we may feel like Yirmeyahu at times, and want to run to the wilderness and hide out in a lodge, we can’t!!!! We need to shine the light to a dark and deceitful people, and therefore our responsibility is huge, as talmidim of the Most High, who has called us to make taught ones of the nations! Let us teach them truth and not falsehood and deceit, even if it means that you stand alone and many despise you – shine that light of Truth and let not the deceitful danger of deceit catch you in your ways, as you walk in the Master and stay in Him, aměn!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you shalom!