Thursday, March 31, 2016

Christ in the Proverbs: Proverbs 19:9

Proverbs 19:9
A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and he who breathes out lies will perish.

This verse is nearly identical to 19:5.  Repetition means this is an important truth for us to learn.  We need to learn how opposed our God is to lying.  His image bearers greatly dishonor him when they lie.

The apostle Paul begins his letter to Titus speaking about his people's "knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness."  He goes on in the next breath to speak of the "God, who never lies" (Titus 1:1-2).  Truth is vital to our sanctification.

O how we need to repent of lying!  This is a sin our God takes seriously.  The first line tells us of the certainty of this sin's punishment: "A false witness will no go unpunished."  The second line tells us of the enormity of the punishment: "he who breathes out lies will perish."

This word perish points to more than mere clinical death.  If that was the only punishment, so what!  Since the wicked and the righteous alike face clinical death, what's the big deal?  But the word perish is pointing to eternal death---what the Bible calls the second death or hell.  In order for justice to prevail there must be a judgment beyond this life, and there is.  The Old Testament understood this, and the book of Proverbs teaches it regularly.

Do you view lying as a small, minor thing?  The Lord in Proverbs is teaching us it is not.  It is a sin that deserves punishment, and it will be punished most certainly.  It's enormity is seen in our purpose as image bearers.  Our Lord embodies the truth, for he is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).  Our enemy is described by Jesus as "the father of lies" (John 8:44). 

Let us repent and trust in the One who saves us from the punishment we deserve, by bearing that punishment on our behalf.  And let us renew our commitment to learning, loving, and walking in his truth. Amen.

                           





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