Summary: We lie to get around the truth. The 9th commandment remains very relevant in our lives.

June 28, 2009

Exodus 20:16

Liar! Liar!


In the book, The Day America Told the Truth, of the people surveyed, the authors found these results –

91% lie about trivial matters;

36% lie about important matters;

86% regularly lie to parents,

75% regularly lie to friends,

73% regularly lie to siblings, and

69% regularly lie to spouses. Daily Bread, 8/28/1992

Here’s what was intriguing about the study: People no longer seem to care about lying. We accept it. It doesn’t bother us. We don’t get upset anymore when someone exaggerates, falsifies, fabricates, or misrepresents the truth. We live in a day when we’ve been bombarded with erased tapes, tampered evidence, loophole lies, illicit cover-ups, padded resumes, and exaggerated ads, to the point that we’ve pretty much given up on truth ever being told.

Of course we have many different ways of speaking about lies. We call them - - -

White lies Bold-face lies Flattery Slander

Gossip Excuses Propaganda Spin

Exaggeration Half-truth Saving face Falsehoods

Shading the truth Perjury Misrepresenting the truth

False advertising Embellishment

So many people believe the 10 commandments are all relative. That means if you think something, a rule or commandment from God, does not fit into your framework of thinking, then it’s okay to break it. After all, it’s all relative, it’s all up to you to do whatever you think is right. No matter what God says.

We’ve come up with all kinds of lies. Lies such as ~

SLIDE- The check is in the mail.

- I’ll start my diet tomorrow.

- We service what we sell.

- Money cheerfully refunded.

- One size fits all.

- This offer is limited to the first 100 people who call in.

- Your luggage isn’t lost, it’s only misplaced.

- This hurts me more than it hurts you.

- I just need 1 minute of your time.

- Let’s have lunch sometime. (Bits & Pieces, December 9, 1993, pp. 12-13.)

Will we’re approaching the end of our series on the Ten Commandments. It’s amazed me just how little people have changed over the centuries. All of the commandments we’ve looked at are as relevant to us today as they were when they were first passed down to Moses from God.

SLIDEToday we are exploring the 9th Commandment, which is another one that hits us where we live. The 9th commandment states, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. Now that sounds pretty simple, but let’s look at what God was getting at.

Sadly, we’ve come to expect our leaders to be liars, we expect sales people to lie to us and honesty is not something that comes easy for many people. We’ve come to accept lying as a part of life. It seems to roll off our tongues with ease. Lying is so natural that we don’t have to think about a story, it just comes, and when that is happening in our lives, we are in trouble.

Technically, this commandment deals with testimony in a court of law and the impact on the judicial system. There are also vast implications of not telling the truth in our everyday lives. While many of us do not worry about false testimony in a courtroom, we should worry about the ramifications to the daily lies. Let’s look at the technical side first.

We are not to give false testimony in legal proceedings. The legal system of the Old Testament and of any society is based on the honesty and truthfulness of those who participate in the system. Just think what would happen if we could not trust people who testify. Yet we hear about lies and dishonesty in the courts today. We can all think of examples of people giving false testimony.

In the Old Testament, God had a way of dealing with a person who tried to convict another person with false testimony.

4 SLIDESDeuteronomy 19 tells us, 16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

The point is, if you were a witness and you lied in order to convict someone of a crime, then whatever that crime was, the liar would receive it. If it was a possible death sentence the liar would receive death, and so on. Can you imagine if that was a very real threat today in our court system? Because you see, that was supposed to be the intent. Verse 20 tells us the people will hear of this and be afraid and will not do this type of stuff in the future. Wouldn’t that be great. Wouldn’t that be scary?!

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