A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Telling the truth is very important. Extremely important! A false witness tells lies against a person or for a person, especially when that person is on trial for a crime. But this proverb also condemns all lying. Liars will not escape punishment, for all good men, and magistrates and employers, and the God of heaven will pursue and punish such men.
Reader, let this short sentence teaching the LORD’s hatred of lying cause your heart to tremble with fear about misrepresenting a matter or telling a lie. Only those who love death will rush over this proverb and enter into their day without checking carefully for faults of dishonesty in the perfect mirror of God’s word (Pr 12:19; 21:6; James 1:21-26).
God hates lies and liars (Pr 6:17,19; 12:22; Ps 5:5-6), and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8; 22:15). Every time a person lies, he shows that the devil may be his father (Gen 3:1-5; Jn 8:44). Almighty God made it the Ninth Commandment (Ex 20:16), and His New Testament apostles also blasted it (Ep 4:25; Col 3:9; I Tim 1:10).
Lying will bring certain judgment and punishment. Men depend upon truth for survival and success, so a liar will be avoided and punished (Ps 101:7). Civil rulers and employers depend on truth, so they will punish liars when they catch them (16:13; 17:7; 29:12; Deut 19:16-21). And God will surely judge liars severely (II Kings 5:25-27; Acts 5:1-11).
This proverb is a sober warning – and it is repeated just four verses later (Pr 19:9). Do you get the message? God and good men hate lying. You should hate it. The Bible is filled with warnings against lying (Lev 19:11; Ps 101:7; Jer 9:3-5; Acts 5:3-4). Be sure your sin will find you out – especially lying (Pr 12:19; Num 32:23). One lie leads to another until a liar is caught in a web of deceit that destroys his soul and reputation.
Do you embellish facts, exaggerate events, polish stories, or round numbers in your favor? Do you allow incorrect facts to stand, when they are in your favor? Ah reader, speak the truth openly and plainly at all times. Hate lying and any of its subtle forms. Love honesty and truth. Pray for deliverance from this curse of the devil (Ps 119:29).
Parents! Demand truth from your children when they are young, for babies begin lying before they speak (Ps 58:3-5). Stress total honesty in all family dealings at all times, and punish lying more severely than most or all other infractions. Especially focus on lying to avoid punishment, for telling the truth then is learning the fear of God. If you do not punish them early and teach them to hate lying, they will be punished much worse later.
Is it ever right to lie? Yes, when innocent life is at stake. Rahab was justified before God by lying to protect the two spies (Jas 2:25). God blessed two midwives for lying to Pharaoh to protect Israel’s babies (Ex 1:15-21). David, the man after God’s own heart, lied on numerous occasions (I Sam 19:11-17; 21:10-15; II Sam 15:31-37). And God sent a lying spirit to King Ahab, who neither desired nor deserved truth (I Kgs 22:19-22). These are just a few of the examples in the Bible of lying that are not condemned.
You will likely be tempted today to compromise the truth or be dishonest. Many will fall to the temptation. You must prepare yourself by this proverb to glorify God and promote righteousness by being as honest and truthful as the situation demands or expects. Each time you choose truth and honesty over lying or misrepresentation, you improve your standing before God and men. Both will honor and reward you in the days to come.
Jesus Christ is the Faithful and True Witness (Rev 3:14). The reason most men did not believe Him was because He told the truth (John 8:45). Natural man prefers lies, and nothing has changed today. Evolution? What a ridiculous, insane lie! Churches preaching lies will always have larger crowds than those teaching truth (I Tim 4:1-3; II Tim 4:3-4). Wise men will not measure godliness by growth or success, but by truth (I Tim 6:3-6).