Proverbs 19:9 (ESV) “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.” The ninth verse of Proverbs 19 is related to the Ninth Commandment.
In God’s view, some behaviors are on his hate and abomination list. One of them is “a false witness who breathes out lies.” See Proverbs 6:16-20 for the seven things that he says are an abomination to him. Synonyms for “abomination” are outrage, disgrace and atrocity. In fact, in the Ten Commandments, God clearly states it this way in His ninth command: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 ESV We are all guilty of bearing false witness. Why do we do this?
Jesus made it clear that being a false witness was the result of a serious heart condition, not external pressures or outside influences:
Matthew 15:18-20 (ESV) “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
The sad reality is that when Jesus was crucified, the religious leaders and the whole council were guilty in their hearts because they sought false testimony to convict Jesus. But this was fruitless. They could not find a legitimate offense, so they brought trumped-up charges.
Mark 14:55-58 (ESV) ”Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” – This was not what Jesus said. He said ““Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” When he was on the cross, they mocked him saying “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” – Matthew 27:40 ESV
He did not “save himself.” He gave himself. He did this to make a heart change possible.
Heart change is possible. It starts with belief in your heart:
Romans 10:8-10 (ESV) “…’The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
This Proverb may seem familiar if you have been reading my Blog on Wednesdays. That’s because I already talked about Proverbs 19:5 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.”
Don’t miss the will not go unpunished, or the will perish or the will not escape portion of these Proverbs. It is true that some people temporarily seem to get away with deceit, lying and other clever ways to hide the truth. Why does this happen? God is being patient and merciful so that there is an opportunity to repent. Don’t miss the opportunity.