Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who are workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts. Repay them according to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds; repay them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. Because they do not regard the works of the Lord, or the work of his hands, he will break them down and build them up no more. Psalm 28: 3-5 NRSV
Recently a church member told me how ill they were over hypocrites they saw in the church. Well, I hate to break it to them but we've had hypocrites among believers long before Christ!
Hypocrites are those people who say one thing but then turn and do something else. They may act loving and kind but they are always stirring up trouble and trying to hurt others. Many times they do this in order to have control or power over others or situations. Other times it is simply their nature.
Jesus was often preaching against hypocrisy. He saw it as a rampant problem among the faithful. He would rather eat with the sinners than with the hypocrites!
The psalmist calls those who are hypocrites wicked and workers of evil. God is asked to repay them as they have behaved toward other people. Perhaps this would include being counted among the righteous up until the day of judgment. In the psalmist's eyes, hypocrites actually have no respect for God. Their behavior shows that they do not fear God or honor God's creation.
How do you think we should pray for the hypocrites among us?
God, we pray for hypocrites among us -- including ourselves. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims