Hypocrisy of the Wicked


Psa. 50:16    But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes,
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18 You make friends with a thief when you see one,
and you keep company with adulterers.

Psa. 50:19    “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your kin;
you slander your own mother’s child.
21 These things you have done and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one just like yourself.
But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.


There are plenty of people who love to recite the laws of God. They pretend to follow God’s statutes, or at least they are pretty good at talking about them. The problem is that it simply ends with talk; there is no discipline in their lives. It’s as if God’s words go in one ear and out the other and it makes no difference in the way in which life is lived. 

Hypocrites are always ready to be critical of others, even those who are some of their closest relatives. It’s easy to think that God doesn’t care about these things because God often remains silent. This is not approval, but a time of waiting for the right moment to lay a charge. Hypocrisy will come back to bite you. 


This isn’t exactly a pleasant topic but there are plenty of people who say that they won’t come to church because there are far too many hypocrites present. Maybe that’s true, because the church is filled with people who are in need of grace. Before we are too hard on others, maybe we need to look at ourselves. We are all probably guilty of hypocrisy. There are still moments in our lives when we react out of self-interest and times when that gets the best of us. The good news is that the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit can transform us so that we don’t have to be ruled by the old sinful nature. 

Let’s turn this Psalm around and take the hypocrisy of the wicked and turn it on its head. The wicked have no right to recite God’s statues, but the righteous do. Those who have experienced God’s grace live in the place of covenant. Discipline is embraced and the word of God is a place in which we are to soak until it permeates our everyday life. 

Friendships are transformed by the presence of the Spirit. No longer are we drawn toward those who would bring us down, but we are edified by those who do good and have strong marriages. 

Discipline includes holding your tongue, even when you would rather not! Instead, good words are spoke about those who are your kin and your relatives are edified. When you do these things, God will not be silent. In the midst of the daily activities and conversations, God will be in the midst, encouraging and prodding you on to greater works. 

The Psalmist makes clear that this life of hypocrisy is deadly. Our call is to follow Christ, and live in authenticity. Our words should match our actions and the living word of God should dwell in our hearts. The hypocrisy of the wicked is juxtaposed with the authenticity of the righteous. This is the call of God to us all. 


Lord, may the words of my mouth match the life that live in you. Amen. 


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