“Telling the truth” (Prov. 12:22).
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”
We hate lying because we love the Lord, and He hates lying. Spend a moment imagining how life would be if Jesus wasn’t trustworthy and you’ll quickly love His honesty. When you and I go to judgment we won’t hear Him say, “I know what the New Testament says about the church (1 Tim. 3;15), about worship (Jn. 4:24), about marriage (Matt. 19:9), about treatment of others (Matt. 5:44-45), but I’ve changed my mind about those things and you’ll be judged by new and different principles.” What if Jesus wasn’t trustworthy? That’s a terrifying “what-if”.
Lies take many different forms, from cheating on taxes to an outright spoken falsehood, to a habit of exaggerating stories we tell in order to make them more interesting. What all lies have in common is this: willful deception.
Jesus insists that we tell the truth. He appeals to us, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32). With His own lips He rebuked people who lied, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (Jn. 8:44). Rebellion against God to live a wicked life is the product of choosing to believe the devil’s lie:“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Rom. 1:25). These are strong words of condemnation for those who are lured by the father of lies.
When we believe and follow the father of deceit, we become deceivers. Notice the company of sin kept by those who lie from Revelation 21:8: But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Almost all, if not all, of the sins that are listed here actually require deceit in their very commission. Lying is foundational in the devil’s work. Honesty is foundational to the character of our God.
Have you lied? Seek His loving forgiveness and resolve to never lie again.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8-10).
Today, think seriously about the value of truth in your Christianity; how you rely on God’s honesty (which we take for granted), and how we must link ourselves with Him by being honest in all our dealings and words.
Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy
- Tonight’s Bible time comes from 2 Samuel 12:1-13. This is a great story, especially for younger children because they will become engrossed in the story that Nathan told David.
- Explain that God sent Nathan to David and that God told him what to say. Then tell the story about the pet lamb. Be sure to emphasize the part about how the man loved his lamb just like a child. Have younger children explain how they would feel if someone very rich came and took their pet rabbit or chicken or lamb and served that pet to a guest for lunch!
- Make sure your children understand David’s reaction when he heard the story. Before he knew it was a story about his own sin, he was very angry at how the rich man treated the man who had the pet lamb. Do we sometimes think sin is pretty bad when other people do it, but not so bad when we do it ourselves? David did not even think about how he, himself, in taking Bathsheba, was like the rich man who took the lamb. He said the man who took the lamb should die and that four of the rich man’s sheep should be given to the man from who the lamb was taken. He was angry at that rich man!
- Talk about the statement “You are the man.” David had just said that whoever took that lamb should die. Talk to your kids about how David really said “I am worthy of death.” But he said it BEFORE he knew that he was talking about himself.
- Now, in explaining the punishment, it is sufficient for younger children to know that God said the baby that was born to David and Bathsheba would die. How very sad this whole sinful chapter in David’s life was turning out! For older children have them look at the specific punishments listed. a. The sword will never depart from your house. Have your teens read about the violent deaths of Amnon (13:28-29), Absalom (18:14-15), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24-25). All these are sons of David.
b. I will raise up evil in your own household. There was a lot of this evil “raised up.” Think about the rape of Tamar by Amnon in chapter 13. Think about the murder of Amnon by Absalom in chapter 15. Have them read about the rebellion of Absalom in chapter 15:1-12. Truly, David never had any serenity in his family after this Bathsheba point in his life.
c. Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. Have your teens read from 1 Samuel 16:21,22 about how Absalom, David’s own son, lay with the concubines on the roof of David’s palace.
- This one is for teens, too. When God pronounces a punishment, it is both just and it is certain. From 1 Samuel 16, what is the name of the man who advised Absalom to lie with David’s concubines? Whose father is this man per 2 Samuel 23:34? And whose daddy is this man from 2 Samuel 11:3? Is the man who advised Absalom to shame David actually Bathsheba’s grandfather? If so, do you think he had a personal interest in shaming David? (Teens will love tracing this out.) Notice also that Nathan said that this shaming would happen in front of all of Israel. See if your teens can find where that was fulfilled in chapter 16.
- Now, for all your children, go back to last night’s three characteristics of God. See if they can name them. Then see if they can tell you, from tonight’s story events, an example of at least two of these characteristics. (Even pre-schoolers should be able to tell you that God knew about David’s secret sins…that God knows everything!
- If you have small children, sing “My God Is so Big.”
- Pray with your children. Tell them that, tomorrow night, we will talk more about how David felt when Nathan finished talking to him.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.