Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16
This is part of the “Commandments” series. This is #9 of the Commandments God gave to the Israelites, after they were liberated from Egypt. These are the laws that God desires for us to follow. They are also meant to show us where we have fallen short in our obedience to God.
If we were left with the laws which condemn us, we would have no hope in reconciling ourselves to a holy God. God made a way for us to be forgiven of our disobedience and “unlawfulness” through the sacrifice and suffering of His Son, Jesus.
I didn’t know what I would write about this Commandment #9. In my daily devotional, the author used our actions as children who want to tell on our siblings. Being from a large family, I can relate to that. I remember saying those words — “I am going to tell Mom on you.” Why is it that we have the desire to point out other’s faults, while we have obvious planks in our own eyes, and the speck in our brother’s eye is not as nearly as bad as our own problems?
I thought of World War Two, and how neighbors turned on each other. I did a search to gain some knowledge before I wrote my post. What I came across was not what I expected. I saw an article about the end of the war, after it was “won” by the allied forces. The German people, according to this article, were tortured, abused, and accused. Many atrocities occurred to teach the Germans a lesson that they wouldn’t forget. Here is the article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2119589/How-neighbours-turned-anarchy-erupted-Europe-aftermath-WWII.html.
Women, who were accused of sleeping with the enemy, had their heads shaved, swastikas written on their breasts, and were humiliated, some executed, during this time. Germans were forced to leave their homes, and many were refugees that were mistreated wherever they went. It was a dark time for the Germans, even though the winning forces experienced the golden joy of victory.
Many people were probably more than willing to accuse others during this time. It used to be that the courts wanted people to have more than one witness when a person was accused. I am seeing more stories in the news of people being convicted on the word of one person now. Accusations can have devastating consequences.
In high school, I remember the reputations of many people were ruined by gossip, even when people weren’t sure of the truth.
God finds it very wrong to accuse someone falsely. If the Ten Commandments were followed by everyone, we would have a pretty peaceful world, That isn’t going to happen, because we are imperfect people, and sinners by nature. We should strive to do what is right in God’s eyes when we claim to follow Him though. Society as a whole benefits from these basic laws.
There are only ten, but they would be the answer to the world’s problems if they could be followed. In the Bible story of the “Good Samaritan”, everyone is our neighbor. We have no excuse before God to falsely accuse anyone.
Dear Lord, help my words to be kind and honest toward You, and toward my neighbor. I have failed at many points in Your law. Thank You that Jesus was willing and able to take my punishment, and save me through Your grace and mercy. Please give me Your Holy Spirit, with all those wonderful spiritual gifts, that I might honor You in my actions and speech. Help even my thoughts to be right before You. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.