The Ten Commandments
Commandment No 9
Commandment No 9
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not Bear False Witness.
Text: Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
In this commandment I will solely base on the tongue as an organ that God gave us to praise him but which has now become an instrument of unrighteousness. This commandment binds and brings back the tongue to it's behavior of being good. The tongue in its origin has been given two fences being the teeth and the lips now the ninth commandment gives a third hedge to the tongue by giving prohibitory and mandatory part.
I) The prohibitory part
- Slandering our neighbour. Psalms 35:11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
- False witness towards your neighbour. By this three sins are condemned
1. Speaking that which is false. Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
2. Witnessing what is false.
a) Bearing false witness for another. Isaiah 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
b) Bearing false witness against another. Proverbs 25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
3. Swearing to what is false. Zechariah 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
The importance of this commandment or the usefulness of it is;
a) For reproof.
- It is not lawful to tell a lie for the glory of God.
- Reproof to those who make no conscience of slandering others.Jeremiah 20:10 I hear many whispering, 'Terror on every side! Report him! Let's report him!' All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, 'Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.'
- To reproof those who are so wicked as to bear false witness against others. 2Kings 9:33.
b) For exhortation.
- We should take heed of breaking this commandment, by lying, slandering and bearing false witness, just by getting the fear of God. Psalms 19:9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
- Be thankful to God for he has preserved you from slander and false witness. Job 5:21
II) Mandatory part of the commandment is that we stand up for others and vindicate them when they are injured by lying lips. Acts 2:15, 1 Samuel 19:4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, 'Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?'
Just to sum up as Christians and friends, we should be advocates for one another, when they are wronged in their good name.