• The Bald Believer

When Snakes And Snails Hold Office



Psalm 58

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David.

1 Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation?

Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness;

Ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb:

They go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent:

They are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

5 Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers,

Charming never so wisely.

6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth:

Break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.

7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually:

When he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away:

Like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the thorns,

He shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance:

He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous:

Verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.


Most Bible teachers tell us that Psalm 58 is about wicked leaders that do not judge uprightly. These words remind us and earthly judges that there is a higher court above.


The Comparisons


As I study this Psalm about poor politicians I can’t help but notice David’s comparisons. I will for the sake of time point out just a couple.


Bad Leaders Are Compared to Snakes.


David compared those unjust judges to snakes that refuse to listen.


Psalm 58:4-5
4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent:
they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;
5 Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers,
charming never so wisely.

Obviously, snakes don’t have ears. The charmer may play but it is more likely the movement of the flute than the sound it makes that causes the serpent to sway. The adder may be dancing but he probably isn’t listening. Like these serpents the unjust judges were guilty of making up their mind before even hearing the details of the case. This partiality in a judge is very bad thing. Is it not a bad thing for us too?


Proverbs 18:13
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it,
it is folly and shame unto him.

We must be very afraid of quick judgments and understand that usually decisions without all the details are bad.


Bad Leaders Are Compared To Snails


Psalm 58:8
As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away:
like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

It appears that the snail is losing a little of itself while going about it’s business. The slimy creature leaves an oozy trail to show where it has gone. While the snail only appears to be melting away it is true of those that give in to Satan. These wicked leaders lose a little of themselves as they take bribes and close their eyes to wrongdoing. I have heard testimonies from men who sold themselves until nothing was left of value.


Unfortunately, leaders are not the only ones that sell their integrity and lose themselves in the process. Should we not be scared that we might also sell ourselves?


Bad Leader Are Not The Only Ones Held Accountable


Notice the opening phrase


“Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation?...” Psalm 38:1

The word “congregation” is translated from the same Hebrew word that we had seen recently in the header of Psalm 56 which means “silent”.


It is as though he says, “Do you speak, you quiet crowd?”

David is calling out the silence of the people against their unjust judges.


Many believe that believers should stay out of political discourse but I disagree, Christians should feel an obligation to be good and active citizens. I would hope that my dual citizenship in Heaven makes me a more active and valuable citizen here. Don’t you? How can we be salt if we always stay silent about important social matters?


I would encourage you to be salt, but perhaps not so salty when it comes to political discourse.


I confess that I find the balance difficult, this struggle between speaking about the issues of the day and keeping dialogue about eternal things open with those with whom I see things differently. The primary emphasis of the believers life should be to promote the King of kings but that doesn’t mean withdrawing his or her earthly citizenship. Let’s determine to not stay a silent congregation but rather use our collective voice for the good of all. Let’s pray for our leaders that they be wise and just. If they refuse to follow the right path, let‘s pray another takes their office. Let’s determine with the help of the Lord to not follow their example. Lets listen to each other and refuse sell ourselves away.











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