Monday, May 24, 2010

They Might Be Lying

"The Bible records the speech of many people, and not everything they say is true. What they said was not true, but that they said it is true. Some people quoted in Scripture believed they were right, but were in error. That was the case with Job’s friends. Other people recorded in the Bible intentionally lie, such as the false witnesses at Jesus’ trial.

People lie to hide their sin, or to deceive others, or to get their way. Not everyone who lied was a bad person. It often takes a careful reading of the context, as well as a knowledge of the scope of Scripture, to discern if what a person says is correct or incorrect.

Cain lied. In Genesis 4:9 God asked Cain where his brother, Abel, was. Cain answered, “I don’t know.” Of course he did know, because he had killed him, but he lied to hide his sin.

Rahab lied. When the Israelite spies entered Jericho, Rahab hid them, but she lied to the men of Jericho and said they had left the city (Josh. 2:4, 5).

Eliphaz was wrong. In Job 22:5, Job’s “friend” Eliphaz said to him, “Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless?” Eliphaz really thought God would not afflict Job unless Job had sinned, therefore he assumed Job had many secret sins. Someone who did not read the book of Job carefully might not realize that Eliphaz was wrong.

We learn from the narrative in Chapter 1 that Job was “blameless,” “upright,” and one who “feared God and shunned evil(Job 1:1). The book of Job correctly records what Eliphaz said, even though what he said was in error.

Amaziah misrepresented Amos. Amaziah was a priest in Bethel who withstood the prophet Amos. Often, in conflicts between people, one person tries to make what the other one said seem worse than it really was in order to gather support against the person. Amaziah told Jeroboam the king that Amos said “Jeroboam will die by the sword(Amos 7:11).

In fact what Amos said was that God’s sword would rise against the house of Jeroboam (Amos 7:10). Amaziah lied to get his way and stop Amos. Jeroboam died naturally (2 Kings 14:29) but his son, Zechariah, was assassinated (2 Kings 15:10), so Amos’ prophecy was accurate, and the “house” of Jeroboam was smitten by the sword.

Herod lied. When the Magi came to Jerusalem, Herod the king told them to report back to him when they found the baby Jesus, “so that I too may go and worship him(Matt. 2:8b). Herod had no intention of worshipping Jesus, but wanted to kill him.

The religious leaders lied. In Luke 23:2b religious leaders in Jerusalem brought Jesus before Pontius Pilate and said, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar...” The scope of Scripture reveals the lies of the religious leaders. Jesus told the people to give to Caesar that which was Caesar’s (Matt. 22:17-21), and even gave money to Peter to pay the taxes (Matt. 17:24-27)."

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, yeah, we tend to take any verse and say that it is scripture, so it is true. This is really important to remember!