As Job continues his reply to Eliphaz, he makes an interesting statement in 17:5, “He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—the eyes of his children will fail.” The Hebrew original of this verse is open to differing translations and, therefore, the exact meaning is a bit in doubt. But from the wording of the ESV it seems to suggest the danger of breaking the 9th commandment, “You shall not bear false witness,” especially for gain, with the added warning that this will have consequences for one’s children.
Think about the sin of lying. It’s one sin that so many don’t think of as that big of a deal. We even tend to categorize our sins into sizes (little white lies). So often we rationalize telling an untruth with the idea that it won’t hurt anyone and it might help me. How often have you been tempted to put something untrue on your tax return? That would be a lie. I even know of a pastor who lied on a loan application form so he could get out of one house and buy another larger one for less money. He broke the 9th commandment. If this sin is really no big deal, how did it make God’s “top ten?”
But think of the damage to the children. As they watch their parents practice the regular art of lying what does it teach them? Is there any wonder that they will then lie to their parents and to others? And one day, when their lie is large and they are called to accountability, who will even think to blame the parents at all?
Christian, be a person of truth. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Be a person of your word.
Prayer: Father, deliver us from the temptation to speak untruth, especially when we think it will be beneficial to us. Help us to be willing to suffer harm rather than lie before you. Give us the strength and courage to be people of honor in your site and for your name’s sake.