Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
Of course this points us to the 9th commandment in Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
One might think this is referring to our life on earth and that a liar will be punished in being brought before the magistrate and sentenced… Or maybe someone who lies on the witness stand? Is the verse referring to either of these situations? Maybe Solomon, when he heard of it… punished those who breathed out lies in his kingdom.
But, I suppose in every society there are liars who never stand before a court for all their false witnesses. Even in a general sense every person I suppose breathes out deception to others. We lie with our body language and the inflections of our voice every day. We deceive at work and home and to our spouse. When we allow false impressions to continue… We become experts at leading people on without actually saying lying words… that is in addition to the lying words we actually do say. Still, in all this we are usually not thrown in jail or punished by those in authority.
And yet there is a way we suffer because of all our lying. Like the boy who cried wolf wolf… liars, even those who lie in the way they carry themselves…. liars loose trust with others. Some liars lie about things in hopes to help others. We may at times when giving advice try to relate to someone we are counseling and say “I went through the same thing you went through”. We may tell another person we never experienced the same thing or else give a deviation of our story so we can build trust with that person. In the long run, lying breaks trust and relationships.
You know… For someone who defends themselves with lies… I think it is easier to trust them in everyday things that are not related to their guarded sins than to trust someone who makes up stories to gain trust. Look, lying damages relationships of all involved…
So I suppose in that sense, liars are punished here on earth. Lying is like drugs… it is hard to quit and it will lead you to being found out and will bring ruin to your life.
Finally, it is no secret that God will judge liars along with all sin. I think this is the foundational truth of the text. Even if a liar escapes punishment on earth in this short life which is like a vapor compared to eternity… after they stand before God their Judge, with their sin they will reap a just payment.
And the thing is… this is true for all of us… There are wages to be paid out to liars… all us sinners. And this will go one of two ways.
Either we will trust God and accept that Jesus took the sentence for our sin and died on the Cross… And not only did he die physically but God turned his face away from his only Son in Spirit and fellowship as he bore our sin… From the Cross, Jesus, crying out in a loud voice quoted from Psalm 22 saying: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
So Jesus took the payment for our sin…
2nd Corinthians 5:21 is another great verse that shows this truth:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Again, either we delight in Jesus who died and rose again… or we will be paid the wages of our own sin by separation from God and all things good forever. Either Jesus is judged for our sin or we will be.
Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.