Daily Thoughts : March 3rd
Ex 23:1 Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.
From looking at mega-themes as we did yesterday, we now turn to a specific, very ‘narrow' instruction. It is very simple: tell the truth! This is part of God's Law imparted to Moses at Sinai for Israel to live by, His design-rules for the human race. Truth is a characteristic of God and it is to be a characteristic of His people. The specific outworking of truth that is covered here echoes the ninth of the Ten Commandments: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. Truth is a requirement for the whole world.
It speaks about being a ‘witness' and a witness is someone who reports what they have seen or heard. When witnesses start telling lies, justice is compromised. The ‘wicked' is a simple description of those who do wrong, who disregard the Lord and abuse others by criminal acts. When a person sides with the wicked, and particularly when they see the wicked doing wrong but fail to tell the truth about them, then society is on the verge of breakdown.
This is a very practical instruction or law and there is another possible aspect to it. It is in the word ‘malicious'. This suggests that you may be telling lies with a bad attitude towards someone else, which is why you are not speaking the truth about them. Here's the point: do you speak wrong words about another because you have a bad attitude towards them? If you are a Christian, it's time to change that attitude!
In the Christian world we talk about a very different sort of witness: it is being a witness to the truth of what Jesus Christ has done for us, i.e. the Gospel. Such a person who is considered untrustworthy, as the verse above speaks, cannot possibly be a witness to Jesus, the two just don't go together. The above is the activity of the darkness and we are of the light.
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