January 21, 2008

Nothing but the Truth

Deuteronomy 19:15-21

A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Deuteronomy 19:15


"Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" The answer is always, "Yes." But witnesses often lie in court. Potential penalties of a fine or jail time do not completely suppress false testimony. Money, revenge, and fifteen minutes of fame can entice people to lie. It happens in the world and in the church.

Moses teaches Israel that in matters of truth about an offense one witness is not enough. One lying witness can ruin many lives. Evil must be purged. And once found out, a liar must suffer the consequences intended for the accused. It's a harsh but just penalty.

God's ancient adversary, the devil, is the father of lies; there is no truth in him (John 8:44). God our heavenly Father is truth; there is nothing false in him. God's children should reflect his truth and his abiding hatred for the lie.

If the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father lie, they reflect the father of lies, cover light with darkness, and entangle harmony in a web of deceit and dissent. Liars show no pity for life or limb.

As children of the heavenly Father, let us not excuse false witnesses. May we convict them of their wickedness and, with God's help, win them and others over to the truth.

Heavenly Father, by your Holy Spirit teach me your way of truth, that I may not depart from it. Guide me to discern truth from lies and to help lead others into your truth. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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