A BRIEF MEDITATION ON PROVERBS 14:5

A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. Proverbs 14:5

Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. Proverbs 14:2

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. Acts 5:1-5

Do not believe for a moment that perjury under oath just happens, or likewise that a radical commitment to truth telling is something that will almost magically appear, no matter the character of the witness on the stand, because the “truth” or situation demands it. Character, i.e. who we really are, colors everything. Our deepest commitments, values, passions, and greatest fear(s) influence everything—including the choices we make like telling the truth or not in a situation where it is being required of us, be that a formal courtroom setting or not. Small wonder then that Peter tells Ananias that Satan has “filled his heart” to lie to the Holy Spirit. Why? Because Satan’s actions are in accordance with his nature. He is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Ananias’ grievous sin was that he lied to the Holy Spirit—an action that was driven by our prowling and eager to devour adversary (1 Peter 5:8) who is a liar by nature. His tumultuous internal situation erupted in outward sin. To state it differently then we could also simply say that who we are influences what we do.

From this short verse in Proverbs (14:5) we are made to see that false witnesses do what is natural to them—lie—and that faithful witnesses likewise do what they can’t help but do—tell the truth. Why? Just earlier in the chapter in vs. 2 the answer is given: there are those that fear God and live that out in every action; and there are also those that deeply despise Him and can’t help, but express that hatred in all that they do. Doing always flows from being. Who we are will always color we do.

by Craig Lester, Pastor of Worship & Music

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