Are you a palterer or a psalterer?
I won’t blame you if you are unfamiliar with both of these words. They are admittedly somewhat archaic.
To palter is to lie or deceive in a dodging sort of manner… to be deliberately ambiguous, evasive, beating about the bush. One dictionary defines it as “using truthful statements to influence a person’s beliefs by giving a false or distorted impression.” Its opposite would be to speak with directness. Politicians are offer typified as palterers, sometimes even prefacing their paltering with a pretext suggesting directness, e.g. “Let me be perfectly clear…. “ followed by merely more rephrased ambiguity.
A psalter, on the other hand, refers to an ancient book of devotional materials which includes the book of Psalms, that great collection of Biblical songs largely written by David. A psaltery refers to an ancient musical stringed instrument of the zither family played by plucking the strings. A zither is mentioned three times in the book of Daniel (Dan. 3:5,7,10). It may also be the “instrument of ten strings” mentioned in Psalm 33:2.
In his message this past Sunday Pastor Andrew also mentioned how our human hearts are indeed deceptive; we can even deceive ourselves. The Christian must heed the caution of Solomon:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” (Prov. 4:23-24).
In other words, A Christian must not be a palterer! Instead, Paul gives direction as to what ought exemplify the believers utterances…
“…speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:19-20).
In other words, A Christian should be a psalterer! Being positive in today’s world may not be popular, but Christ never promised us popularity. Our business in this world is to be salt and light, to bring hope and clarity, not more confusion and vagueness, to a world lost in darkness, duped by the devil’s deception in all its forms.
Sing! …. and…