Ziklag: Double Life | Exodus 20:16 | Devotional
Exodus 20:16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Commandment #9 addresses all falsities from the “little white lie,” to the self-protective deception, to outright proclamation of an untruth that damages another person. Many like to keep this commandment at bay by debating the smoke-screen issues—like saying to new parents “Oh, isn’t she beautiful!” or saying to your wife, “Yes, sweetie, that dress makes you look extremely slender.”
Certainly, you may disagree that my two illustrations are smoke-screen issues, but we will all agree that a lie is like a double-edge sword. Sometimes it is put up in a defensive posture to protect oneself—“No, I didn’t say that!” “I would never do anything like that.” “I can’t believe she misinterpreted what I said.” “The check’s in the mail.” “Tell them I’m busy.” “Of course, I didn’t tell anyone.” “You know I would never cheat on you.” Sometimes it springs from an attack position, thrusting an untruth in order to do damage to another person.
Behind the hurt of lying is hate. “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin” (Proverbs 26:28). That’s why “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful” (Proverbs 12:22). And as always, the sin of lying may seem to work for a while, but sooner or later it will catch up with you. “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare” (Proverbs 21:6).
Father, by your Spirit, stop us in our lies. Give us the courage to tell the truth. Help us honor you with our words. In Jesus’ name. Amen.