A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
The irony in this proverb is that people lie for the express purpose of escaping punishment. We lie to cover up other sins. We fudge the truth so that our spouses will not get upset; so that our bosses will not blow up at us, etc. We will lie so that suspicion is passed on to others. Our lying so that we can get ahead is a form of escape. We think that our present status, our present financial state, our present job and position is life is not as good as it should be. We want to escape it and climb higher. We lie on our tax forms to escape more taxes to pay.
But such lies, though they may seem to provide escape, are merely leading us into entrapment. As often as not, our sins are found out and our lies prove only to magnify their gravity. But more to the point, we cannot lie before and to our Maker who sees all things even into our hearts. Furthermore, we cannot lie about our faith. We can fool others about our faith, but we cannot fool God.
Before you can exercise faith, you must exercise honesty. You cannot be inwardly convicted about what you will not own up to. You cannot repent what you will not admit. You cannot turn in faith to your Redeemer if you will not confess your true need. And you cannot grow close to your Lord if you try to deceive him. Remember then that your goal is not to escape, except to escape from the clutches of sin and lying. You want to be caught by your Lord who is your Redeemer. You want to be forced to confess your sin and your need for your Savior. Like the father caught in his own lie – “I believe” – you want to be caught in mid-sentence and cry out – “Help me in my unbelief!”
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org