Devotional thought for Today – 11/18/21

The Ten Commandments or the Law of God Series

Exodus 20:26 and Deuteronomy 5:20

The 9th Commandment: Can You Handle The Truth? - Off The Grid News

NINTH COMMANDMENT

In an earlier post today I noted how disgusted I was with the media bias and outright lies from the prosecutors in the ongoing Rittenhouse case. Truth matters, especially when an individual’s life (they have charged him with capital murder) is hanging in the balance. But the question is how does God look at the truth?

As always Keach is a good place to start our discussion today:

81. Which is the ninth commandment?

The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Ex. 20:16

82. What is required in the ninth commandment?

The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man,160 and of our own neighbour’s good name,161 especially in witnessbearing.162

^ 160. Zech. 8:16
^ 161. Jn. 5:12
^ 162. Pr. 14:5, 25

83. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?

The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to the truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour’s good name. 1 Sam. 17:28Lev. 19:16Ps. 15:2, 3

A.W. Pink makes a great observation in his opening remarks on this commandment:

Take these words simply at their face value and they prohibit only the horrible crime of perjury or the giving of false testimony in a court of law.

But as with the previous Commandments, so it is here: much more is implied and inculcated than is specifically stated. As we have so often pointed out, each of the Ten Commandments enunciates a general principle, and not only are all other sins forbidden which be allied to the one named and prohibited, together with all causes and tendencies thereto but the opposite virtue is definitely required, with all that fosters and promotes it. Thus, in its wider meaning, this ninth commandment reprehends any word of ours which would injure the reputation of our neighbor, be it uttered in public or in private. This should scarcely need any arguing, for if we restrict this commandment to its literal terms it would have no bearing on any save that small minority who are called upon to bear witness in a court of justice.

In its widest application, this commandment has to do with the regulation of our speech, which is one of the distinguishing and ennobling faculties that God has bestowed upon man. Scripture tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21), that “a wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4), and that an unbridled one is “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). That our words are not to be uttered lightly or thoughtlessly is made clear by that unspeakably solemn utterance of our Lord’s: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36,37).

O how we need to pray, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

The duties concerning our tongues may be summed up in two words: our speech must always be true and spoken in love (Ephesians 4:15). Thus, as the eighth commandment provides for the security of our neighbor’s property, so this one is designed to preserve his good name by our speaking the truth about him in love.

Thomas Watson likewise has a witty beginning thought on the ninth commandment:

The tongue which at first was made to be an organ of God’s praise— has now become an instrument of unrighteousness. This commandment binds the tongue to its good behavior. God has set two natural fences to keep in the tongue—the teeth and lips; and this commandment is a third fence set about it, that it should not break forth into evil. It has a prohibitory and a mandatory part: the first is set down in plain words, the other is clearly implied.

He then goes on to list uses of the tongue good and bad; lying, slander, exhortation, and reproof.

In case y’all do not think that truth matters as much today, let us look at some New Testament Scripture on the subject:

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 16:13 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

John 18:37-38 – Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.   (Read More…)

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 – Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,   (Read More…)

Ephesians 6:14 – Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:   (Read More…)

1 John 3:18 – My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth

Then there is this one, maybe the most important verse about truth in all of scripture. John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Digging into this statement by Jesus Himself we find doctrinal gold. Jesus says:

  1. He is true, incapable of lying
  2. He is the only way to get to eteranl life (Heaven)
  3. He is the way or path of righteous liveing
  4. All believers must accept this as true or deny Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior thereby calling Him a liar!

Remember, James 3 tells of the difficulties in taming the tongue. That does not mean we should give up and let fly anything out of our mouths. No, we must strive to be Holy, But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16


Resources:

10 commandments: icons

Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, The Ten Commandments

Keach’s Baptist Catechism of 1677 – Modern #44-92

Thomas Watson’s classic The Ten Commandments

Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge, Chapter XIX, The Law

The Ten Commandments, by A. W. Pink

The Doctrine of Law and the Grace Unfolded – John Bunyan

A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel by John Colquhoun, D.D


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