August 19, 2021 – Thursday
Proverbs 19:5, 9 NIV
5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.
Proverbs 19:5, 9 YLT
5 A false witness is not acquitted, whoso breatheth out lies is not delivered.
9 A false witness is not acquitted, and whoso breatheth out lies perisheth.
At one time, for over six months, Sharon and I would read through the book of Proverbs. We would read a chapter a day, the chapter referring to the day of the month. We were amazed after four or five months how we would read the chapter aloud and both of us would see and hear things we had never heard before. Of course we had heard it all the times prior, but for some reason it had not caught our attention or penetrated our understanding for some reason. Today I decided to start once again and when appropriate share with you what I find new.
Today what struck me were the two verses for today and how very similar they are. Even in Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) they are very similar. In our legal system today, we have a term for someone who is a false witness in a courtroom, they are called a perjurer or one who commits perjury. Turns out they will often face a trial of their own making and if found guilty of perjury, they do not go free, but go to jail.
That is all well and good, but here the Proverb is speaking of God’s judgment as one may escape being found out by man, but they will be found out by God. And there will be punishment. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary makes the following distinctions between verses five and nine: 5. Those that tell lies in discourse [regular daily conversation], are in a fair way to be guilty of bearing false-witness and simply 9. Lying is a damning, destroying sin. The Pulpit Commentary words are stronger considering the latter, We make a distinction between the members by seeing in the former a denunciation against a false witness in a suit, and in the second a more sweeping menace against any one, whether accuser, slanderer, sycophant, who by lying injures a neighbour. (emphasis added).
Still, why is this repeated twice in effect? For an answer I prefer Matthew Poole’s explanation, it seems to be here repeated, either for its great use and weight in human society, and to show how much God abhors such practices; or to show the pernicious effects of this sin. God certainly did abhor such practices as evidenced in Deuteronomy 19:18b-19, if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you.
Are you ever tempted to lie? I know I am – frequently, but while I often pause and don’t, However, reading and writing this will make the pauses almost always or always and hopefully reduce the lies (even the white-lies) to a state of non-existence.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for making such a strong point about lying. Why we should not simply because it offends You and how it can lead us into greater and greater sin. Help me to always pause before lying and then straightforwardly choose not to lie. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton