On Speaking The Truth

We live in a world where people speak constantly, but have little regard for truth, evidenced by the words that issue forth from their mouth. In fact, we become so inundated with insincerity in every facet of life, that when we see or hear plain, honest speech or behavior, it leaps out at us as something completely outside the norm.

Years ago, we would often hear the maxim: “Honesty is the best policy.” However, the actions of most people today, demonstrate how little credence they give to it. People are generally convinced that lying is self-preservation. They will bend or even break the truth, if they suppose it will get them out of some trouble, or give them some advantage. However, once the lie is found out, the preservation or advantage evaporates (cf. Numbers 32:23).

A lie contributed to the downfall of Israel’s first king. When God sent the Israelite army against wicked Amalek, He gave command that the nation and all its possessions should be destroyed utterly (1 Samuel 15:1-3). However, Saul saw fit to spare Agag, the king of Amalek, as well as the best of the Amalekite flocks and herds (1 Samuel 15:9). When Samuel the prophet came to Saul to indict him for his wrongdoing, Saul sought to hide behind a falsehood. He solemnly stated: “I have performed the commandment of the Lord” (1 Samuel 15:13). Samuel then showed Saul that the evidence against him was overwhelming: “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of oxen which I hear?” (1 Samuel 15:14). Such blatant disobedience led to the kingdom being taken from Saul, and given to David.

Concerning Satan, Jesus once said: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Those who engage in lying, will have the opportunity to spend eternity with Satan (Revelation 21:8).

When we speak, we should speak as if we are uttering the "oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11), as His word is "truth" (John 17:17). Paul tells us: “Let everyone speak truth with his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25) because “The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Proverbs 12:19).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets