and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|May 1, 2011||
Volume 10 Number 9
One of the most powerful and dangerous weapons that Satan has to use against Yahweh’s people is flattery. He has successfully used inflated words of excessive praise to destroy the faith of countless numbers of God’s people. David called out to Yahweh for help because flattery was causing the faithful to fail:
1 Help, Yahweh; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3 Yahweh shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things:
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? -Psalms 12
Flattery is one of those subtle tactics of Satan, which could be grouped among those which Paul calls "the wiles of the devil:"
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. -Ephesians 6
The word, "wiles," is translated from the Greek word,meyodeia (methodeia). It also means to "lie in wait" for someone by using cunning arts, deceit, craft, and trickery. Truly successful deception is accomplished when those who are affected do not even know that they have been deceived!
If we are operating only in the physical world, looking just at the outward appearances of people and physical things, then we are missing the unseen reality of what is going on around us. We are, therefore, unaware that Satan is operating through the "rulers of the powers of the darkness of this world." These demonic powers once dwelt in heaven itself (the Greek word that is translated as "high places" isepouraniov (epouranios), meaning on or in heaven)!
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. -Ephesians 6
These spiritually wicked demonic powers were once angels in heaven that were cast out with Satan (the Dragon), whose very purpose is to deceive the whole world:
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. -Revelation 12
Since then, Satan has declared war upon Yahweh’s people. They are the remnant of the seed of Zion, known as the woman (see Isaiah 61:1-62:5). They keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
17 And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah. -Revelation 12
Operating as a subtle enchanting "serpent," Satan used flattery as his first weapon against Yahweh’s people. He told Eve to disobey Yahweh and "you shall be as gods:"
5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. -Genesis 3
Flattered to think that she could be lifted up with the wisdom of a goddess, she, along with her husband, yielded to the flattering voice of the tempter:
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat. -Genesis 3
The serpent fired the first shot in his war against Yahweh’s people from his mouth under the subtle cover of flattery. His attack was so subtle that the woman didn’t even realize she had been hit. His words entered into her thoughts, corrupting her mind to do the unthinkable, which was to rebell against her Creator. Paul explains the deceptive technique the serpent used:
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in the Messiah. -2 Corinthians 11
Paul calls Satan’s subtle weapons, "devices." Satan uses them to get an advantage over us:
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. -2 Corinthians 2
Once Satan gains entry into our minds through devices such as flattery, he has sown the seeds that begin to grow into thoughts about our own importance. If left unchecked and allowed to be cultivated, those thoughts will soon convince us that our own wisdom exceeds that of God. This will lead us to believe that we no longer need to humble ourselves before Yahweh to seek His will in our lives, ultimately leading to open rebellion against God and His Word.
For this reason, Paul reminds us that we are in a war. As such, we need to recognize how we are being attacked. As our flattered mind begins to swell, our imaginations are lifted up against the knowledge of God. That is when we need to cast them down and humbly bring our thoughts back into obedience to the Messiah:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of the Messiah;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. -2 Corinthians 10
Yahweh warned Israel of the dangers that come with wealth. He said that is when they are likely to lift up their hearts and forget Him:
14 Then your heart is lifted up, and you forget Yahweh your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; -Deuteronomy 8
He told them that is when they are likely to trust in their own power and might, instead of in Him:
17 And you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth.
18 But you shall remember Yahweh your God: for it is he that gives you power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. -Deuteronomy 8
If they forget Yahweh and trust in the flattery that comes with their wealth, Yahweh warned:
19 And it shall be, if you do at all forget Yahweh your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
20 As the nations which Yahweh destroys before your face, so shall you perish; because you would not be obedient to the voice of Yahweh your God. -Deuteronomy 8
This prophecy was no more clearly fulfilled than through the life of King Solomon. Yahweh gave him great wisdom, and said He would also add to him riches and honor:
12 Behold, I have done according to your words: lo, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like unto you.
13 And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto you all your days.
14 And if you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days. -1 Kings 3
However, once Solomon received wisdom from Yahweh, the flatterers showed up. First, Hiram (also called Huram), the King of Tyre, boasted of Solomon’s wisdom, prudence, and understanding as the new King of Israel:
12 Huram said moreover, Blessed be Yahweh God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build a house for Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom. -2 Chronicles 2
Then the Queen of Sheba came to flatter Solomon:
6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom.
7 However I believed not the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: your wisdom and prosperity exceeds the fame which I heard. -1 Kings 10
Blinded by flattery, Solomon lost sight of Yahweh’s Word concerning both women and riches:
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. -Deuteronomy 17
He accepted large amounts of gold:
14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, -1 Kings 10
He also multiplied foreign wives to himself, which turned his heart away from Yahweh and to their idols:
3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. -1 Kings 11
When we hear the sound of flattering lips, we should remember the "wiles" of the Devil, which Solomon seemed to have forgotten:
5 A man that flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. -Proverbs 29
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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