“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16)
The 9th Commandment is the subject of today’s study in Proverbs 19. Although two different proverbs, Proverbs 19:5 and Proverbs 19:9 state the same fundamental truth: Liars will suffer punishment!
Liars, deceivers and false witnesses appear to have immunity to the consequences of their lies and deceptions in our day; however, Solomon assures us this is not the case.
Proverbs 19:5 – “A false [lying; deceptive] witness shall not be unpunished [guiltless; blameless], and he that speaketh [utters; breathes out] lies [falsehood; deceitful] shall not escape [saved; delivered].”
Proverbs 19:9 – “A false [lying; deceptive] witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh [speak; kindles] lies [falsehood; deceit] shall perish [destroyed; perish].”
When it comes to lying, “Everybody’s doing it!” has become an appropriate cliché’ for the 21st century. Lying has become so commonplace it appears to enjoy universal acceptance. Public figures lie with impunity and evidence little concern there will be negative consequences–the media gives politicians a “free pass”, while an adoring public seems ready to overlook the most blatant lies.
The skill at delivering bold-faced lies appears to have become a pre-requisite for holding public office!
President Richard Nixon assured Americans, “I am not a crook.”—and was forced to resign from office in disgrace! President George H. Bush promised the nation, “Read my lips, no new taxes!”—but he raised taxes and became a one-term president.
President Bill Clinton [whom I refuse to quote] denied his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky and suffered the disgrace of impeachment for lying about his infidelity under oath.
President Obama’s assurance, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it!” goes down as one of the most brazen lies of all time for a sitting president.
Lest I be thought naïve, I confess the church is not exempt from liars in the pulpit, the pew or in parachurch organizations. An attempt to rehearse the public lies of religious leaders and the deceptions of men who steer the course of churches and Christian institutions astray from their heritage would be a fruitless exercise. Lies and liars abound in Christendom! Confronting the religious hypocrites of His day, Christ said:
John 8:44 – “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not [does not stand] in the truth, because there is no truth in him [devil]. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own [it is his nature]: for he is a liar, and the father of it [father of lies].”
The Apostle John gives us a glimpse of the end of times and God’s judgment, when he heard the voice of God saying:
Revelation 21:8 – “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
It is a sinner’s nature to lie and no man is above its temptation. No matter how rich, famous or powerful—every man will eventually face the judgment of God! As the late Pastor R.G. Lee once said, there is a “Payday – Someday!”