Short Meditations in Psalms: 5.9 Beware Liars & Deceivers
Psa 5:9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.
The word ‘their’ appears four times in this verse. To whom does it apply? In the previous verse David spoke about his enemies; now he says what he feels about them. In verse 1 he had cried, “Give ear to my words.” In verse 2 he had cried, “Listen to my cry for help.” In verse 3 he had declared that he will, “wait in expectation.” In verses 4 to 6 he highlighted how the Lord did not like (understatement!) the wicked, the arrogant, liars, the violent and deceivers. In verses 7 & 8 he distinguished himself from them, he would go to the Lord and rely upon Him.
Now he again returns to his enemies and again he declares three things about them. First, “Not a word from their mouth can be trusted.” A familiar problem is what people say. He has already called these people deceivers and liars and therefore this is a natural follow-on. The old adage may be “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but we know that that isn’t true, as much as we would like it to be so. It is especially so when you know that what is being said about you is untrue. That feels particularly unkind and unjust. But it is bigger than that for these ‘enemies’ of David were also described as wicked and arrogant, and such people don’t care what they say or who they hurt, but it starts with what they are like on the inside.
But when he looks on the inside, he says, “their heart is filled with destruction.” i.e. everything about them plans destruction for others. Satan is known as a destroyer of God’s works and God’s people and those under his sway care little for others. Their deceptive lies intend to bring David down, to destroy him.
He returns to their word which, as we said, so often hurt: “Their throat is an open grave.” What a strange expression. Words come out of the throat and so when they come from these people they are like words of death that lies there in the grave calling for others to join it.
Death and destruction come from the mouths of these people around David, people who look to destroy him. And how do they do that? He returns to his starting place: “with their tongue they speak deceit.” These destructive words are untruths designed to destroy and we should always remember that. We’ll see how David deals with that but one simple way is to recognize them for what they are, and declare the opposite, declare the truth about yourself with His grace, recognize them as the lies they are and reject them.