January 20 I Friday
“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” —Proverbs 6:16-19
The Bible does not often speak about God detesting things, but the opening verse of this devotion gives us a glimpse of the things God hates. From the list of seven things, two of them have to do with lying. There are clever ways to lie. The devil, also known as the “father of lies” in Scripture, lies in subtle ways. When we study how the devil speaks, we find that he primarily lies by asking questions and these questions are designed to throw doubt.
For example, in the Garden of Eden, the devil asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). The devil lies even without making a statement. The reality is that God never said such a thing, but the point of the devil’s inquiry is to cast doubt that leads to deception. What God actually said was, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16-17). God gave permission to eat from any tree…except one. But the devil, with his schemes, came to cast doubts through his question to make it sound like God is unreasonable and unkind. Such tactic! The father of lies knows fine well not to come and give a black lie that everybody can recognize but come and ask a question designed to mislead and deceive.
Similarly, one of the ways we lie is by asking questions that carry implications to cause someone to doubt another person’s character, intention, motivation or agenda. All of this, God detests, as Proverbs 26:28 tells us, “A lying tongue hates those it hurts…” (Proverbs 26:28). It hurts, no matter what form the lie is presented.
A child once asked her mother, “What is a lie?” She said, “A lie is an abomination unto the Lord, but a very present help in times of need.” Although a lie may seem to get us out of a fix, lies hurt in the ultimate consequence. Because lies always have negative consequences, we can never produce something positive from something negative. May we heed the words from Proverbs 23:15-16: “My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.” And remember these words: “The LORD detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy” (Proverbs 12:22).
Prayer: Lord God, I confess my sin of lying. I ask that You grant me wisdom and an upright heart to keep falsehood from my lips. May my words bring You delight. Thank You, Lord.