“… and injustice hath lied to itself.”

Deliver me not over unto the souls of them that afflict me, for unjust witnesses are risen up against me, and injustice hath lied to itself.(Psalm 26, Sept)


We read this Psalm during the Royal Hours for Theophany, which I just finished. In this Psalm, David  is crying out for help for deliverance from his enemies, all the while expressing confidence that he will be delivered.


The Psalm asks for protection against outer enemies, but whenever I hear such things as this verse, I think of my greatest enemy: myself. “Injustice” should be thought of as all kinds of unrighteousness. The biblical meaning of justice is to be good in all things, as God is, and not a narrow understanding of rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior.


In another place in the psalms (which, by the way, it is my fervent hope that each of you says every week (why? – please answer in the comments) it says that “All men are liars”. This latter verse means, as one holy father I read recently teaches, that when expounding about the Godhead and all Christian mysteries, we cannot say the exact truth because we are too small to know it. However, I tie these two verses together and lament that I am a liar, and I tell most of my lies to myself. A just man tells the truth, because he lives according to the truth.


I know a little something about human nature too, and boldly proclaim that all of you are liars too, and you lie to yourself. This is because of our pride, which we allow to blind us to the truth about ourselves. How wonderful it is to even admit that we are liars, at least we can be truthful in this and therefore begin to be truth tellers about ourselves and therefore learn about He who is true.



  1. From: debrafr…@wildblue.net
    Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 09:33:30 -0800 (PST)

    Apart from His Vision, I cannot help but lie about anything and
    everything that I ‘see’. I am worse off than a blind man. At least
    all that a blind man ‘sees’ is darkness. This makes him very aware of
    his limitations and handicap. He moves around slowly and carefully,
    looking for someone to help him, to guide him and tell him where
    things are.

    Like the blind man, I too cannot see reality, cannot see ‘What Is’.
    But unlike the blind man I have a world of false images and reality in
    front of me, deceiving and distracting me. We view the world through
    perception, not through actual sight. I think I see things that aren’t
    really there and I trip over things that are there that I do not see.
    No wonder I am often in so much pain. I go to reach for something
    that I expect to be there and it is not. I move carelessly forward,
    trip over Reality and fall.

    So if you ask me what I ‘see’ (or if I ask myself what I ‘see’) all
    that you will get will be lies—because, apart from God, the Truth is
    not in us.

    “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
    This comment is posted with permission from The St Nicholas email list: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church

  2. From: Natalia Arzhantseva
    Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 21:19:28 +0300
    Thank you, Father!

    This is the essence. I think, our lies torture us, even more than they torture neighbours. Yes, we lie differently: either deliberately, or unconsciously, or we may be convinced that we are right, that we say correct things or do correct things. Especially when we put forward our judgment of any person or event. And we fail. And bring harm to ourselves & others, make grave mistakes, being guided by our totally wrong (but to us at those moments – absolutely correct) versions & visions. It always happens when we lay many hopes on our corrupt mind, not on God. I experienced this, and I admit that it is true. And we lie as well when we don’t want things even in their plain layout, because we do not want them to be as they are, we prefer them to correspond to our preferences & wishes! We prefer to put rose-colored glasses…Especially we prefer to see ourselves through them! Also, things are not as they seem. And we, of course, being small, cannot be objective & true.

    I thought that this tremendous gap between the real truth & the way we understand remains as great as there is a tremendous difference between God’s Will & our will…

    Thank you for opening for me the meaning of these words in the Psalm!


    This comment is posted with permission from The St Nicholas email list: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church

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