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Saturday, December 27 2014
Psalm 36: Praise or Flattery?
"As the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty"
Recognition of another person's accomplishments or natural blessings is good and righteous because it demonstrates honesty and humility toward others. Genuine praise is good for everyone's Godly uplifting (see the Fact Finder question below).
"3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it." (Proverbs 3:27 KJV)
There is however a profound difference between honest recognition, on one hand, and conniving flattery which is done to manipulate others by praising their vanity, on the other.
The English word "flattery" originated from a Old French word, flatter, which meant to pet - as in what one does to an animal to make it tame and docile to its owner or handler. The righteous, while giving honest recognition to those who deserve it, do not use flattery to manipulate people. God's true saints aren't worldly politicians (see The Patriotism Prophecy) or panderers in pulpits (see The Bride Of Christ and The Great Harlots).
"12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:34-37 KJV)
Satan lured the first humans into sin by flattering them with his own vain and rebellious "like the most high" delusion. The Devil still uses the same tactic against the figurative one who will be the mother of all (see Brides From Their Sides and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV)
When David became king, he found himself surrounded by all kinds of people - with all kinds of motives for their "loyalty." Some were truly patriotic, while others were opportunists, "vipers," with smooth-talking tongues. David however knew that they were there, and the fate that awaits them: "For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful."
"36:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.
This Day In History, December 27
537: The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey was completed. The Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later became a Muslim mosque. It is today a museum.
1512: The Spanish Crown issued the Laws of Burgos. They governed the conduct of settlers (who the native people came to view as invaders in their homelands) toward native people in the "New World."
1741: Prussian (not to be confused with Russian - Prussia is in Germany) forces took Olmutz, Czechoslovakia.
1822: Louis Pasteur, the French chemist and bacteriologist, was born. He originated the heat process known as Pasteurization, used to destroy micro-organisms in certain foods and drinks.
1825: The first public railroad using steam locomotives was completed, in England.
1831: The British survey ship HMS Beagle set sail from Plymouth, England, on its scientific voyage around the world. On board was a young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1922: The Japanese Hosho was commissioned; it was the world's first purpose-built aircraft carrier (earlier carriers were converted ships e.g. the first U.S. aircraft carrier was a converted bulk coal carrier).
1927: Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, marking a victory for Joseph Stalin.
1929: Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin orders the "liquidation of the kulaks as a class." The kulaks were peasants who owned property that they worked for, but were regarded as a threat to socialism.
1945: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established.
1949: Indonesia became independent from the Netherlands by decree from by Queen Juliana.
1966: The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, was discovered in Aquismon, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
1972: Lester Pearson died at age 75. The 14th Canadian Prime Minister (1963-1968) was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize (back in the days when the recipient had to actually do something for peace) for his efforts to resolve the Israeli Suez Crisis of 1956.
1972: Belgium became the first NATO country to establish diplomatic relations with East Germany.
1978: King Juan Carlos ratified Spain's first democratic constitution.
1979: Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan. Hafizullah Amin, President of Afghanistan, was executed. The U.S. condemned the Soviet invasion until it did so itself a few years later.
1995: Israeli troops withdrew from Ramallah, completing the handover of 6 "West Bank" towns to the "Palestinians" ("Palestine" is merely a variant English-language rendering of "Philistine").
1996: Rwanda's first genocide trial opened with the accused facing charges for their part in the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis in 1994.
2007: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.
2008: Israel began a 3-week military operation on Gaza - "Operation Cast Lead."