Hello, and welcome to our last week of our Psalm 119 study! I am so proud of everyone who has stuck with us this far. Psalm 119 is not an action packed chapter – instead, it methodically and in great detail lays out the virtues of God’s word and the effects it has in the author’s life… and consequently on our life.
Today, verses 163-164 really struck me:
I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous rules.
The Psalmist hates falsehood, but that is not a strong enough word to adequately describe how he feels about this. He abhors it. It fills him with disgust.
This reminds me of Proverbs 6:17 where we are told about seven things our Lord loathes (again a strong word). A lying tongue is one of them.
Why is such strong language used?
Lying is in complete opposition to who and what God is. Instead, it sums up perfectly the character of Satan (Jn 8:44). He is called the father of lies. He deals with lies in every form: from bold lies, to parietal, and twisted truths laced with lies. Lying is his business.
God, on the other hand, is truth. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). It goes against his very nature. And just as we can’t be anything but human, so God can’t be anything but truthful.
So the reason such strong language is used in regards to lying is because every time we lie we act like the devil.
As I was studying it was easy for me to nod my head and say “amen,” but the more I thought about the implication of this in my own life the more uncomfortable I got. When I tell my kids that the chocolate is all gone when really I am saving it for myself, I am dishonoring God and taking Satan’s side. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant we think the lie is. All falsehood is a reflection of Satan and dishonors God.
As Christians, we should have an extremely high regard for truth. Chris Vaughn encourages us that our word should be as “trustworthy as a signed agreement attested by legal witnesses.”
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man (Prov. 3:3-4).
While this sounds noble and godly (and it is), it won’t always produce the results we would hope truth would have in this life. Truth is not respected. We live in a world where lies are more desirable than truth. People lie about their age, their income, their marriage, and their gender. They lie in order to advance their careers and they lie in order to get out of trouble.
A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully (Prov. 13:5).
So how do we fight against the temptation to lie? How do we become lovers of truth – not just in theory – but also practically?
Through praise (vs. 164). Praising God helps us fight lying because it forces us to focus on the awesome character and work of Christ, softens our hearts towards truth, and in the process, hardens it towards lies. Falsehood becomes distasteful the more we know God.
Another way to fall more in love with truth is to focus on God’s word because it is truth.
We need to wrap ourselves in this revealed truth of God and pray that our hearts would be softened towards all truth so much so that we are not willing to lie even about the seemingly small things.
The catch is we don’t have the resolve or strength to be constant truth tellers. Again, we need Christ. We need his forgiveness for all the times we have failed, for the bold-faced lies we have told and the “small” lies that have so easily come out of our mouths because we were too cowardly to tell the truth. Christ paid it all and he has given us the Holy Spirit to help us become more sensitive to all sin and to strengthen us when faced with temptation.
Looking To Jesus,
WEEK 8 CHALLENGE:
Identify areas of your life where you are tempted to withhold truth or speak an outright lie. Devote this week to brutal honesty before the Lord in the form of repentance and ask him to make you love truth.
Let’s also ask the Lord for wisdom when we speak truth. Honesty does not mean bluntness. We can still speak truth in a kind and loving way, but it means we need to choose our words carefully and wisely.
WEEK 8 READING PLAN:
WEEK 8 MEMORY VERSE: