Proverbs 12:19

Truth and Lies


1. These two verses continue the ongoing context of speech which began in vs.14.

2. In verse 19, Solomon makes a statement about speaking truth that perhaps some of us might question. Is it really true?

19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

1. Is this statement true? Is it always true or just sometimes true?

2. He seems to be saying that truth wins out over lies.

3. It is certainly a noble thought, but is it true?

a. What about the Christian martyrs during the Reformation?
• Their lips spoke truth, but they were not established forever. They were put to death.
• Those who put them to death promoted lies… and didn’t last but a moment. Many of them remained in power for years after the death of those who spoke the truth.

b. What about Pastor Harlon Popov, who spoke the truth and was imprisoned and tortured for 13 years in Bulgaria? Those who lied in order to send him to jail went free.

c. What about the Christian people in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan who spoke the truth and were imprisoned or suffered at the hands of the religious police?

d. What about the countless men who are in prison in our country today for crimes they did not commit—because they told the truth but someone else with a better lawyer lied against them?

e. What about the time that you were telling the truth but your so-called friend was lying about you behind your back?

4. Solomon is not saying that truth always wins out in our daily experience.

a. Rather, he is saying in this passage that from God’s perspective, truth will eventually win out over error…

b. From eternity’s perspective, truth will last… lies and liars will not.

19a The lip of truth shall be established for ever…

1. Truth SHALL BE established forever.

a. Maybe not in our lifetime… but it shall be one day!

b. The martyrs never lived to see truth established, but it shall be one day.

c. We should not be discouraged nor should our faith be shaken if we do not see truth established in our day.

d. Folks at the office may lie about you and cause you to lose out on a promotion… they may slander you falsely… and may seem to win the day… and win the hearts of your coworkers.

e. But their day is coming…

f. I Cor. 4:5 – Here Paul points ahead to the Bema seat—when the Lord will judge all things.
• Paul had been lied about and slandered—by the Corinthians!
• Vs. 3 – they judged Paul and his ministry wrongly. (Perhaps you too have been criticized and judged wrongly…)
• Vs. 4 – Paul knew that while men might lie about him and judge him wrongly, the judgment he truly cared about was that from the Lord.
• Vs. 5 – Paul states that when the rapture occurs, believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
• And in that day God will bring to light the hidden things of darkness.
• These are not bad things… just hidden… “In darkness” does not refer to that which is evil, but to that which is not seen.
• While men lied about Paul, his ministry, his motives, his intentions, etc… Paul states that one day the Lord will bring to light what was REALLY on Paul’s heart… his true motives…
• And then he shall have praise from God — for the things hidden away in Paul’s heart that no one else could see, (his motives and intentions) — would be judged PROPERLY by the Lord and Paul would be exonerated by the Lord.
• This is what enabled Paul to deal with such lies and slander leveled against him without going crazy… without blowing up.
• He knew that one day—maybe not in his earthly life, but one day, his lips of truth shall be established… and the liars exposed.
• You and I need to know this too. Even though lies and liars seem to get away with using their tongues like the piercings of a sword—they won’t get away with it forever.
• One day truthful lips SHALL BE established.

g. This has long been a prayer of godly saints throughout the ages… that finally truth and righteousness would be established and the lies, liars, and the ungodly would have their day of justice.
• Ps. 7:9 – Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
• It has always SEEMED to the human eye that wicked men and liars get away with murder… and the just and those who tell the truth suffer.
• Solomon, speaking from eternity’s perspective states that one day, the lip of truth SHALL BE established.
• How we all long for that day.

2. Truth shall be ESTABLISHED forever…

a. Established: to be firm; be stable; be established; fixed; enduring; secured; stable.

b. It SEEMS like liars are well established in the world. They control the thrones and kingdoms…

c. And believers, who have the truth—are a tiny remnant… a miniscule minority…

d. Our existence here seems tentative at best.

e. At any moment the government could pass a law and outlaw Christianity… or demand that we join the World Council of Churches…

f. Yet, the one who speaks truth shall be established.
• This will take place before the Bema seat…
• But even in this life, the one who speaks truth will be established in heart… strong in the inner man…
• Ps. 112:7-8 – his heart is fixed; established… the lips that speak truth will be established; such truth comes from a heart of truth… which heart is established—strengthened by God!
• There is something solid, poised, dignified, strong about the man, woman, or child whose lips speak truth.
• That person is firm, stable, secure, stable…

3. Truth shall be established FOREVER…

a. The one who speaks truth is established FOREVER…

b. Truth is eternal. Truth doesn’t change.

c. No one can change the truth either.

d. Men may attempt to burn all our Bibles; they may try to quench our preaching; hinder our evangelism; outlaw our faith—but nothing can overthrow the truth. It shall be established forever.

e. I Pet. 1:24-25 – Evil men who attempt to hinder the truth and promote lies are but grass. But the truth—God’s Word—abides forever.

19b But a lying tongue is but for a moment.

1. From our perspective, this doesn’t always seem to be the case.

a. Sometimes liars and deceivers lie and deceive for many years!

b. How long has Rome been lying about the gospel? How long have some of the world’s dictators lied to their people? How long have people lied about you?

c. From our perspective, the lying tongue may go on for a long time… for years… for centuries.

2. But from God’s perspective, it IS but for a moment.

a. Our whole life is but a vapor.

b. Time is nothing to God.

c. Even if God allows lies to go on for centuries, that is but for a moment from eternity’s perspective.

3. While we struggle with the time element… God doesn’t. The important point in this passage is that lies and liars will NOT go on forever.

a. Eventually Satan, the father of all lies will be banished… and so too all that speak lies.

b. Rev. 21:8 – liars shall have their part in the Lake of Fire.

c. Rev. 21:27 – no one shall enter who makes lies.

d. Rev. 22:14-15 – note that those who do NOT enter the heavenly city are described as “whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”

c. The Bible makes it clear that in the end, God deals with liars with force and finality.

d. God is truth and in Him is no lie. He hates lies infinitely.

e. Psalm 52:4-5 – Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.

4. But to revisit this thought from our perspective…

a. In this life, lies are but for moment in this sense: we usually lie when put on the spot—and find that a little lie is the best way to save face in the immediate… or the easiest way out of an uncomfortable situation…
• A police officer asks why you were speeding;
• Your boss asks why you were late to the meeting or how the project is coming;
• Your teacher asks you if you understand the problem you are working on… and you are embarrassed to say no…
• Or at home, someone says, “who finished off the ice cream? Or “who spilled the juice?” Or “who left the lights on?” — and nobody did it!

b. Sometimes we lie to take the pressure off us in a heated conversation… we think that the lie will bring some immediate relief… and it may… for the moment. But it is only for a moment.

c. In time—be sure your sin will find you out!

d. Prov. 19:9 – eventually, the liar will meet up with the truth. Eventually, all liars shall be punished. Truth and justice shall ultimately prevail.

e. The book of Job says, “The joy of the hypocrite but for a moment.”

f. Sometimes the liar is dealt with immediately—as with Ananias and Saphira. But sometimes the liar seems to get away peddling his evil wares for years.

g. Solomon gives us assurance, that in the end, the lip of truth shall be established—and the lying tongue will be but a moment—a blinking of an eye.