“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20.16).
In the ancient world, when someone committed a crime, the courts didn’t have access to evidence like DNA testing and video surveillance. They relied on one thing—eyewitnesses! So, if a person testified falsely against their neighbor, there were huge ramifications. In fact, if you were uncovered as a “malicious” witness (one who testifies falsely) you received the penalty you intended for the innocent party!
Our words have incredible power, and how we represent the truth seriously affects ourselves and others. God loves it when we tell the truth. He hates it when we use deception to abuse a system, get a little more for ourselves, or exact revenge on someone who’s hurt us. God’s character is best represented when we represent the facts accurately and build relationships based on trust. There are lots of ways to lie, but the outcome is always the same: loss of trust and loss of justice.
Memorize today’s commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20.16). Write this command out and commit it to memory. committing it to memory is the first step in living in obedience to it.
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