You Shall Not Bear False Witness (Part 1)

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 

Q: What is the ninth commandment?
A: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we shouldn’t deceive, betray, or speak badly about other people, but instead, we should defend them, speak well of them, and build them up.

Do you think lying is a big deal? If so, why? If not, why not?

According to the Bible, lying is a really big deal. You know why? Because Satan is called “The Father of Lies.” Who wants to be a child to the Father of Lies? It would be would be pretty horrible to have Satan as your dad. But when we lie, we are acting like Satan is our father and not God. We are acting like we are in the family of Satan and not the family of God. Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? It is. And that is what lying does.

God commanded His people in the Old Testament and His people today to not lie because lying breaks down relationships as well. How could you have good relationships with other people if people constantly lied to each other? You couldn’t. Everyone would be suspicious of each other and constantly on edge.

This is the essence of what it means to bear false witness. It means lying, and since God always tells the truth, He wants His people to imitate Him by always telling the truth as well.

Consider John 8:44,

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

  1. Can you think of ways that Satan is shown to be the Father of Lies in the Bible? (Garden of Eden, tempting Jesus with lies in the wilderness)
  2. In what ways have you been tempted to lie?

Our Father, thank You that You have given us the truth and that that truth sets us free. May we live in light of the truth of the Gospel so that we don’t find ourselves in a prison of lies. You have been so good to us to show us a better way than the way of lies. Help us to love other people well so that lies never come out of our mouths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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