Psalms 120:2: “Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.”
At first reading it appears that the writer is saying: “Lord make those gossiping about me shut up, punch ‘em in the mouth.” But upon closer examination, the writer is not saying that at all, he just wants his soul to be delivered.
We are not sure this is David speaking, if it is, he is mostly in exile. Some feel this is written at the time he was fleeing from Saul and could relate to the time he had opportunity to kill Saul and his advisors were so advising him to do so, but he refused. For various reasons, that does not really fit, but the example is good.
The word soul that is used here in Hebrew is nephesh which is really your mind. We notice in verse 7 that the writer tells us that he is for peace while those lying lips and deceitful tongues are for war. The writer is troubled, the lying lips and deceitful tongues are confusing him, and he is not sure what is right or wrong.
The word lips is misepath which means lips, but is in the feminine form. This may not mean anything, but it is possible that the writer is considering the fact that a woman’s lips can be very seductive and many a man has been led astray by the kiss of a woman’s lips.
The word lying is seker. This type of lying is a corrupt type, based in jealously and/or judgment. It is also a lying done by a close friend, advisor, or members of a fellowship. It is in a close fellowship where you experience jealousy, or judgmental words. The writer is troubled over advice he is being given, or friends harshly judging him. You can receive 100 compliments and not think much about it, but that one person who will judge you or criticize you, that will stay with you throughout the day and totally wear you down.
He also wants to be delivered from a deceitful tongue. The word deceitful is ramyah. These are words spoken which are self seeking, deceptive, but words built upon revealed truth. One way to express ramyah is proof texting. That is pulling a Scripture verse out of context in order to prove a point or persuade you to do something that you are not sure is right.
Now note, the writer is not asking that these critics or advisors be silenced, he is only asking to be delivered. The word delivered is hasalah. This is in a Hiphil imperative form. “Lord, cause my soul to be delivered.”
Colossians 3:15: “Let the peace of God rule (Greek – umpire) your heart.” The writer is experiencing some harsh criticism. Yet, like Watchman Nee said, in every criticism, there is some grain of truth. The writer does not want to reject that criticism outright, but at the same time knows there is a lot of untruth in that criticism. He is also receiving some very seductive advice yet, he does not feel at peace with it. These critics or advisors are wanting war. This advice may be born out of jealousy or it may be self serving, but it has the writer confused and he is asking God to deliver his trouble mind, give him peace. If peace will rule his heart, then he will know the decision he makes is right, that it is of God.
When you go through a difficult time or have an important decision to make, it is only natural to seek advice from trusted friends. Far too often people are more than ready to give their advice, yet they are human after all and their advice, although well meaning, may not really be from God. When David had the opportunity to kill Saul, his friends said, “David, praise the Lord, God has put your enemy in a position where you can run in there, lop his head off and you will be king before nightfall. Your problems will all be solve, surely this is God’s doing.” The advice sounded good and from all circumstances it appeared that the Lord really did arrange things for David to vanquish his enemy and fulfill God’s plan in his life. But he had a check in his spirit, against all conventional wisdom; he sensed in his spirit that something was not right; he did not feel right in his heart about it. He let the peace of God rule his heart and as such he said that he would not touch God’s anointed (I Samuel 24 and 26).
Advice from your friends or even your spiritual leaders may be good and may sound right, but if it creates a sense of confusion or you feel no peace in your heart about it, it is best to hang on to your wallet. Natural advice is like a pitcher pitching a baseball. Sometimes it is too close to tell if that ball is in the strike zone or not. Your friends tell you it is a ball, your spiritual leaders tell you it is a strike, who do you believe? If your heart is joined with the heart of God, you trust your heart, you let the peace of God rule your heart. It is that inner peace which rules (Gk. Barbeuto – arbitrates, umpires) your soul or heart (Colossians 3:15).