Proverbs 12:22

Lying Lips

22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.


1. This is the final verse in a section of this chapter which has dealt extensively with the subject of truth vs. lies and deception.

a. vs. 17 – truth vs. a false witness and deceit

b. vs. 19 – the lip of truth vs. a lying tongue

c. vs. 20 – counsellors of peace vs. deceit in the heart

d. vs. 22 – Solomon speaks about lying lips vs. they that deal truly

e. vs. 18 – speaking like the piercing of a sword—perhaps lies intended vs. the tongue of the wise which is healthy—truthful?
• Perhaps we might not associate vs. 18 with lying vs. truth except for the context in which it is found.

2. A clear theme has been running through these verses.

3. Verse 22 ends this section by stating what God thinks of it all.

22a Lying lips are abomination to the LORD

1. What does man think of lying?

a. We often hear lies referred to as a “little white lie”—as if it wasn’t so bad…

b. “As long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, who cares?”

c. “Sometimes the end justifies the means. It’s OK to use a lie in order to accomplish a good end.” (If you can get somebody out of trouble; or save a few bucks; save face; prevent a fight… if some good can come out of it… why not?)

d. “Everybody does it…”

e. “My intentions were good…”

f. Men are so accustomed to lies that they no longer seem like such a big deal. Politicians lie. Presidents lie. Lawyers lie. Even deacons and pastors have been caught in lies.

g. Somehow, men have put the sin of lying into a kind of innocuous category… not quite so bad…

2. What does God think about lying?

a. It is an abomination to the Lord.

b. Abomination:
• Strong’s defines it as “a disgusting thing”.
• Dictionary of Biblical Languages: that which is detested, abhorred, loathed, despised, degraded, i.e., have a hate or very strong dislike for an object, implying contempt; repulsive; vile; shameful.
• Detestable

c. Things God calls “an abomination.”
• Lev.18:22 – homosexuality
• Lev. 18:23 – bestiality
• Deut. 7:26 – idolatry is called an abomination
• Deut. 17:1 – offering a BLEMISHED sacrifice to the Lord (why?)
• Deut. 17:3-4 – worshipping the sun, moon, and stars
• Deut. 18:10-11- children burnt on idols; witchcraft
• Deut. 22:5 – cross-dressing—wearing clothing of the opposite sex
• Deut 23:18 – using money made through prostitution as a payment of a vow to the Lord in the holy place!
• Prov. 15:8 – the sacrifices of the wicked—religious hypocrisy
• In this despicable camp God places “lying lips.”

3. When you or I lie, God puts that sin in the same category as burning a baby to an idol… cross-dressing… homosexuality… worshipping the sun and moon…

a. We might not see it that way, but God does.

b. God calls a lie an abomination: that which is vile, shameful, detested, abhorred, loathed, despised!

c. It doesn’t sound like God considers it a little white lie, does it?

d. God hates all sin, but this is an especially vile sin in God’s sight.

e. Prov. 6:16-19 – there are six things the Lord hates… and not only hates, they are an abomination!
• The second on this “hate list” is a lying tongue.
• In fact, it appears TWICE on this list—a lying tongue; and a false witness that speaks lies.
• God REALLY hates this sin.

f. John 8:44 – the sin of lying is traced back to Satan. He is the father of it. Those who lie are acting like the devil…
• Acts 5:3 – it was Satan who filled (influenced and controlled) the hearts of Ananias and Saphira and led them to lie to God.
• Satan FILLED their heart… same word as “be FILLED with the Holy Spirit” in Eph. 5:18.
• There is something quite Satanic about lying. It speaks of satanic influence.
• God showed His displeasure to Ananias and Saphira by taking their lives.
• God REALLY hates this sin.

4. Why is this sin so detestable to God? Because of who He is.

a. Num. 23:19 – God is not man that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent.
• Lying is associated with fallen men.
• Truth is associated with a holy God. He never lies.

b. Ps. 86:15 – plenteous in truth
• Plenteous can mean either “great; strong” or it can mean “captain or chief.”
• God is the captain of all truth… chief of truth. (we are chief of sinners!)

c. Ps. 31:5 – the Lord God of truth

d. Isa. 65:16 – the God of truth

e. John 14:6 – Jesus said, “I am the truth.”

f. Truth is God’s nature; He IS truth;

g. Nothing could be more contrary to the nature and character of God than a lie!

h. Prov. 26:28 – “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it.”
• When you lie against a person, it hurts the person who was lied about. We have probably all been afflicted by a lie… slandered… false accused… and it hurts.
• But ultimately, all lies are in reality against God, because God is a God of truth, all lies are against HIM…
• All lies are an affront to the One who is the Truth.
• All lies are done in opposition to Truth… and the God of truth.
• All sin is against God. “Against thee and thee only have I sinned.”
• God Himself is afflicted by our lies—and He hates them.

5. Could WE be guilty of abomination?

a. Believers DO lie.

b. Prov. 30:8 – he asks God to REMOVE lying. Evidently he had a problem with lying.

c. Ps. 119:29 – the psalmist had the same problem… and sought the same help from the Lord.

d. Let’s be honest. We have ALL lied… stretched the truth… embellished… added to… subtracted from… purposely left out pertinent details…half truths…

e. Deut. 25:15-16 – using false weights; cheating customers
• A salesman; a store clerk; a business man might deceive his customers… that is a false weight… abomination… lies and deceit… false advertising…
• We might make promises and not keep them. That’s a lie.

f. We can learn from Prov. 12:22 the degree to which God hates lies… abomination… it is satanic… placed in a category with the most despicable of sins.

g. Ps 62:4 – The wicked delight in lies. We should hate them.

h. Prov. 13:5 – We should learn to HATE lying… God does. We should too: “A righteous man hateth lying.”

22b But they that deal truly are his delight.

1. Note the contrast to God:

a. Lies are an abomination.

b. Truth is His delight!

2. Truly: firmness; fidelity; steadfastness; faithfulness; truth.

a. It stands in contrast to lying lips in this proverb, so “truly” is probably the best shade of meaning to attribute to it here.

3. Delight: pleasure; delight; favour; goodwill; acceptance.

4. That which is called a “delight” to God:

a. Ezra 10:11 – those who lead a separated life…

b. Prov. 11:1 – a just weight is His delight…

c. Prov. 11:20 – they that are upright in their way are His delight

d. I Sam. 15:22 – he has delight in obedience.

e. Ps. 16:3 – His delight is in His saints

f. Prov. 15:8 – the prayer of the upright is His delight

g. Jer. 9:24 – God delights in the man who glories in the fact that he knows God… the God of truth.

h. God delights in:
• Those who lead a separated, upright life; and who walk in obedience…
• Who are honest and truthful in their business affairs
• His saints—who are thrilled about knowing Him!
• Those who “deal truly” are in the category of that in which God delights! What a category to be in!
• That’s the category I want to be found in. How about you?

5. Dealing truly…

a. Speaking the truth; Loving the truth; Guarding truth; Honoring truth.

b. Not stretching it; perverting it; distorting it; exaggerating it; or in any way diminishing it…

c. It also includes of faithfulness; reliability—LIVING a true life; honest; etc…not just talking truth but LIVING it.

d. If this is characteristic of our lives, we bring God delight!