TODAY’S READING: PSALM 9-17
In Psalm 17, David is proclaiming his innocence. It’s more than ironic that David bases his claim of innocence on lips free from deceit and his avoidance of the ways of the violent. Recall the whole incident with Bathsheba and Uriah.
But, the psalm isn’t really about David anyway. It’s about Jesus.
Prophesying of Jesus, Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.”
Jesus never, ever did either anything violent or deceitful.
But, this is not the only time violence and lies are mentioned together in the Bible. In fact, if you read closely, then you will see that two concepts are mentioned together more often than they are mentioned separately.
I believe every psalm can be read in some way as a prayer of Jesus. So, let’s look at Psalm 17 in that light.
Verse 1 says, “Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!” Here we see Jesus making the claim that he has never spoken lies or deceit.
Verse 4 says, “With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the way of the violent.” Here we see Jesus making the claim that he never did anything violent.
While the ideas of no violence and no lies are repeatedly linked in the Bible, it is especially true in the psalms. That the psalms are prayers of Jesus makes the link between no violence and no lies even more important.
That Jesus did no lies and no violence hits a fever pitch in the gospel of John.
In John 8, Jesus accuses the Jews of being of their father the devil. In John 8:44, Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Then, in John 18, Jesus has a conversation with Pilate just before he is executed. In verses 36 and 38, violence and lies come up together. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting…For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Do some word studies on violence, murder, mischief, snares, and pits and lies, deceit, deceitfulness, and flattery. Scripture could not be more clear that Jesus, and therefore God, did no violence and spoke no lies. This needs to be firmly fixed in our minds if we want to truly know God.