But cursed be the deceiver, which has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King…
Curses are the echoes that sin awakens. All deceivers are cursed.
I. THE DECEIVER. He may be a self-deceiver, or a deceiver of others, or both. Some may unconsciously deceive; others intentionally. It is the intentional deceiver that is cursed; he who aims to deceive others. These abound in —
1. Religious communities. The wily priest, the glib teacher of error, the hypocrite.
2. In the social circle. The liar, the seducer, the false friend.
3. In commerce. The unreliable employee, the concocter of lying prospectuses, the swindling merchant.
4. In political movements. The bribing agent, the self-seeking adventurer, the unscrupulous statesman. Men sometimes turn themselves into incarnate falsehoods for the sake of worldly success. The advantages gained are only seeming, not real. The deceiver is —
(1) Foolish. He injures himself for the sake of uncertain good.
(2) Despicable. Society treats the exposed deceiver with contempt. All honest men shun him.
(3) Treacherous. He is like a splintered staff, a rotten cable, a sandy foundation, a spider's web, a wrecker's beacon, a flower-covered bog, a desert mirage, etc.
(4) Mischievous. He lays traps for the innocent. He destroys social confidence.
(5) Diabolical. Like Lucifer, he "sins in wily guise." He is a true son of the father of lies.
II. HIS CURSE. This may be suspicion, discredit, fear of discovery, exposure, stings of conscience, spiritual .blindness, the execrations of his victims; the contempt of all good men; the displeasure of the Almighty, hell-fires, etc. His curse is certain. In a universe where a God of truth and righteousness reigns, the deceiver is sure to be punished. The curse is terrible and eternal. Application —
1. Let us guard ourselves against all deceivers.
2. Let us beware of deceit.
3. Better be deceived than deceive.
(W. Osborne Lilley.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
WEB: "But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the Lord a blemished thing; for I am a great King," says Yahweh of Armies, "and my name is awesome among the nations."