There’s No Fooling God

Yael Eckstein  |  May 21, 2023

light streaming in clouds

Hear me, LORD, my plea is just;
    listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.
—Psalm 17:1

We start out every week with an inspirational lesson from the beloved Psalms. For centuries, these ancient poems of King David and others have been the foundation for Jewish and Christian worship. Enjoy!

Remember when you were a child and your parents told you to clean up your room? Did you ever just throw everything into the closet or stuff the mess under the bed so your mom wouldn’t see it? I chuckle when I think about this now that I’m a mom and I see my kids using the same tricks I tried when I was their age.

Let’s be honest. Trying to cover up a mess without really cleaning up is something we all do at time, whether it’s cleaning our room as a child or more serious matters as we get older. And just like my kids think they’re fooling me, we try to fool ourselves. Or worse yet, we try to fool God when we attempt to cover up our mistakes.

The first person to try to fool God was Cain. After he murdered his brother Abel, God asked him, “Where is your brother?” I’ve always laughed at Cain’s answer, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Did Cain really think he could fool God? There’s no fooling God.

But there’s a serious lesson here for all of us. When we try to hide from the flaws and mistakes that we need to correct from damage we have caused, are we any different from Cain?

There’s No Fooling God

I thought about this while reading the opening of Psalm 17, “Hear me, LORD, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips.” Why does David make a point of stating that his prayer “does not rise from deceitful lips?” Would a prayer from deceitful lips even be answered by God? Why would anyone pray deceitfully?

But David is speaking to something very real inside all of us. When we come before God in prayer without honestly confronting and admitting our deficiencies, that’s a deceitful prayer. When we think we can just say the right words and God will do whatever we asked because we prayed, that is a deceitful prayer. When we pray like that, it shows we think we can fool God… and there’s no fooling God.

When we’re honest, when we lay ourselves bare before God, we can have confidence in our prayers. As David ends the Psalm, “As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness” (17:15).

Let’s all try and take an honest look at our lives. What are we sweeping under the rug? What mess are we ignoring instead of working hard to clean it up?

Your Turn:

What have you been putting off dealing with? Maybe it’s time to clean up what’s under the bed! God will reward you and bless you for it.

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.