“He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.” –Proverbs 12:17
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 9:1-9
A lying tongue and a false witness are closely related and yet can follow different paths of application.
To lie is to fail to tell the truth in the matter. Little children learn to do this rather early in life and it is a trait that must be corrected early. Some have a more difficult time than others overcoming this habit. But this type of lying is generally misrepresenting facts in our own lives—whether we took something or not, how big the fish really was, how fast we went, what we did, etc. it is generally defensive in nature.
A false witness is generally misrepresenting something in another person’s life or against another person. It is generally of an offensive nature. It can be blaming someone else for what we did, trying to cause a blot in another person’s character through jealousy or retribution or obscuring justice. Also included, would be implications that would lead someone to believe something that is not true. Of course, this is referring to deliberate, not innocent, representations.
Why would God hate lying? Indeed, why do we hate lying in other people? Because our world is run on trust. Someone who is known for their lying cannot be trusted, even when he tells the truth, for you don’t know when that is. Someone who is honest can be trusted in all things. The bulk of our laws deal with trying to keep people honest, can you imagine the amount of problems that would be solved if all people would tell the truth?
Then there were those whose motto of life is, “Never trust anyone.” Then why should they be trusted? This can only lead to a frustrated, suspicious life. We all must trust others, many times each day. We need to resolve that we can be trusted in all things and then pray for an epidemic of the same in others.
- Explain what God meant by the ninth commandment. Exodus 20:16; Exodus 23:1-2.
- How sure is God’s promise? Hebrews 6:17-19.
- What does that mean to us? Hebrews 6:11-12. By what means did Ahab obtain a vineyard that was not for sale? I Kings 21:5-10, 16. What was his judgment? I Kings 21:17-20, 25-29.
- What did Joseph’s brothers cause Jacob to believe? Genesis 37:31-33. How is this, a false witness?
- Explain the significance of John 8:43-47, after reading Genesis 3:4-5 and Genesis 12:10-20. Are half-truths acceptable in today’s society, based on these scriptures?
- How wild can lies get at times? Exodus 32:1-6, 21-25.
- What was a major problem in Judah and Israel before their captivity? Isaiah 59:2-4, 12-15; Jeremiah 9:3-6.
- What further damage can lying and false witnessing do? Proverbs 11:9; Proverbs 20:17; Matthew 26:59-61; Acts 6:9-14.
- What is the Christian taught in this matter? Luke 3:14; Proverbs 24:28-29; Ephesians 4:25, 29; Colossians 3:8-9. And if false witness is made about us? I Peter 3:16-17.
- What is the final result to all who continue to lie? Revelation 21:8; Proverbs 19:5.
Sometimes we excuse our actions by saying, “It is only a little white lie.” Discuss this statement in light of the ninth commandment. Is the ninth commandment as viable for us today as the fourth commandment is? Can we say that there is any sin that is not a serious matter?