Flattery Toward God is a Serious Offense

Someone has said, “Flattery is like perfume. The idea is to smell it, not swallow it.” Another suggested, “Flattery is like counterfeit money which, but for vanity, would have no circulation.” Most of us would rather be hurt by flattery than helped by criticis … More


The writer states in this passage that the people flattered Him with their mouth, lied to Him with their tongue, had a heart that was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant (vv. 36,37). The dictionary says flattery is to compliment insincerely. We flatter people because we want something from them. It is bad enough to flatter people but even more serious to flatter God.

How do we flatter God?

  1. When we praise Him but don’t mean it. An example is to stand in church and sing songs of praise with our lips when our minds and hearts are far from Him.
  2. When we make promises to Him that we don’t intend to keep. We yield to a certain temptation and promise God that we will never do that again but take no steps to prevent it.
  3. When we pray to Him but don’t really seek His will. It is so easy to go through routine prayers and make promises, but our hearts have no intention of following through.

Over and over the children of Israel claimed that they would follow God but they turned away from Him (vv. 32-44). So often the Israelites lied to Him. They brought sacrifices, hoping to buy God’s blessing. They went through the ritual and the routine of worship, hoping that somehow He would deliver them. In actuality we lie to God. To have a heart that is right with God means to be honest and open with Him. We must be sincere and not lying. We need to tell him just how we feel and exactly what we are going through. God wants us to walk in the light as He is in the light (I John 1:7), not trying to cover up or excuse our sins, but confessing them.


God wants me to be open and honest with Him and never flatter Him with dishonesty, insincerity or deception. The way to do this is to keep my heart clean by confessing my sins (I John 1:9) instead of trying to cover them.

Psalms 78:32-44 (English Standard Version)

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