Friday, December 29, 2017
Psalms 120:1 – 4 (NIV) I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. What will he do to you, and what more besides, O deceitful tongue? He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom tree.
In Boston, a minister noticed a group of boys standing around a small stray dog. “What are you doing, boys?”
“Telling lies,” said one of the boys. “The one who tells the biggest lie gets the dog.”
“Why, when I was your age,” the shocked minister said, “I never ever thought of telling a lie.”
The boys looked at one another, a little crestfallen. Finally, one of them shrugged and said, “I guess he wins the dog.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Sin comes in all shapes and sizes, but lying is the handle that fits them all.”
God hates lying. In Proverbs 6:16 – 19 we read, “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
Notice how lying is involved in all the things God hates.
- Haughty eyes, or pride, is a lie about who we really are.
- Hands that shed innocent blood have lied about someone else to defend their own actions.
- Hearts that devise wicked schemes will lie to accomplish their own goals.
- Feet that are quick to rush into evil believe the lies of immediate gratification and self-indulgence.
- People who stir up dissension among others may lie about them, but in reality, they are lying to them about their own innocence, using the dissension as a smoke screen for their own guilt.
Lying is the handle that fits all the sins that God hates.
When Saul was still king of Israel, and David’s popularity was growing, Saul tried to rescue his monarchy by banishing David from the land. As David and his mighty men traveled they came to the town of Nob, where a priest named Ahimelech officiated over the people. He saw the big picture of God’s purpose for David and provided food for David and his men.
Also present at that time was a man named Doeg. He was Saul’s chief shepherd of all his flocks. He went and reported to Saul that Ahimelech had helped David. Saul ordered Ahimelech and all his family killed, and Doeg volunteered for the task. That day Doeg killed 86 people.
It is in the context of these events that David writes Psalm 120. To protect his own status, Saul had been lying about David. To advance his own position, Doeg lied about Ahimelech. David was tired of suffering the effects of lying lips and deceitful tongues.
There are many ways to lie. Some of them have become acceptable even among Christians. We strive for desired outcomes by changing the meaning of our words with inflections and body language. We embellish the truth to draw attention to ourselves. The need for recognition couples with the desire for acceptance and convinces us that those goals justify any lie.
But lying hurts. It hurts others and it hurts us. It hurts God.
Here’s why God hates lying – because lying is the proof of pride. To lie to another person is to prove that we love self more than we love them. But what we may not really undersstand is that seeking to advance self is really a proof of hatred of self. If one truly loves self, then there is no need to continually try to prove self to others, to protect self from others, or to improve self-image in the eyes of others. Lying is the attempt to protect whatever value we believe we have, which is really a product of hating all the rest of who we are. God hates lying because it focuses on our worth and denies His worth in us.
God, save us from our own lying lips. Show us the worth of your Son Jesus and that we are complete in Him. With that knowledge and in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we are free from any and all attempts to defend, protect, and advance our own cause. The truth will set us free.