Proverbs 6:17a

A Lying Tongue

1. God hates a lying tongue.

a. A lying tongue is an abomination to God (Prov. 12:22)

b. What strong terms! Lying is one of the seven deadly sins that God hates and it is also called an abomination to Him—something particularly disgusting to God.

c. God’s view of lying is quite clear. Unambiguous. Yet—in some circles men have attempted to teach that it’s OK under certain conditions, as long as no one is hurt—situational ethics!

d. God hates it! It is an abomination to Him. We don’t have to wonder what God’s view is.

2. We too should learn to hate lies like God does.

a. The thought of lying should make us cringe.

b. The Psalmist said: “I hate and abhor lying…” (Ps 119:163)

c. Prov. 13:5 – “A righteous man hateth lying.”

d. When someone asks you to say that they are not here—we should recoil and be revolted over the thought!

e. If we love the truth, then we must hate the opposite: lies!

f. Do we really hate lying? Or do we think it is cute at times?

3. We tend to dress up lies… to make them look good.

a. We call them “little white lies.”

b. We excuse them… justify them… (O, just tell him I’m not here!)

c. We like to refer to it as just “stretching the truth”—or telling a half-truth.

d. But in God’s book, there is no excuse for lying… ever! There are no mortal lies or venial lies. Sin is sin—and God hates it!

4. Lying includes much more than what we would refer to as a bold faced lie.

a. Lying includes all kinds of deception… distortion of the truth…
• We can distort the truth by making true statements, but over-emphasizing one element in the story and minimizing something else.
• Sometimes our choice of words can intentionally distort the truth… (John went to Filenes and took a pair of pants! He put it in his bag! Or—“He hung up on me!” (don’t you always hang up after a conversation? Or “I saw our Sunday school teacher fly by us on the highway!)
• We can distort the truth by what our words imply—even if they are factually correct! That’s lying—if we are intentionally deceiving!

b. Lying might include telling truth, but leaving out key facts so as to deliberately mislead…
• When two people are having a feud, ask each person privately what happened… and you will hear many of the same facts—but a wildly different arrangement of those facts!
• Party A will leave out all the facts that incriminate party A; party B will tell the same story, but leave out the facts that incriminate party B! It’s human nature—and it’s sinful!
• Prov. 18:17 – one man’s version of the story might includes lots of facts BUT when his neighbor comes, he will fill in some of the missing facts—(the rest of the story!) and it gives the story a completely different flavor! That is deception! It is lying—and God hates it.

c. Lying might include telling a half-truth.
• Abraham saying that Sarah was his sister—she was his half sister—but she was his wife!
• A half-truth is a whole lie!
• Ex: Did you pick up your room? “Yes I did, mom!”—when in reality you only picked up one pair of dirty socks—out of two week’s worth!

5. What is the source of all lies?

a. Satan is the father of all lies. (John 8:44)
• The Pharisees were OF their father the devil! They behaved like he did—they lied and were about to kill Jesus!
• When we lie, we are following the lead of the devil…
• He lied to our first parents—he said, “Ye shall NOT surely die!”

b. Satan can fill the heart of men to lie—exert some sort of external control and influence… pressure to lie. (Acts 5:3)

c. Lies proceed out of the fallen heart of man. (Mat. 15:19)

d. Lies proceed from our fallen nature—no one has to teach a child how to lie… as soon as they be born! (Ps.58:3)

6. Knowing the source of all lies, we should avoid those who lie when possible.

a. We cannot altogether avoid liars—or we would have to leave the world!

b. Ps. 40: 4 – we should not respect those who lie—even if they hold high position. We can respect their office, but not the person!

c. Ps. 101: 7 – David would not walk with those who lied. He wanted no dishonest liars in his court! He wanted to surround himself with men of truth! We should too!
• Read vs.1-6 – David wanted to surround himself with godly people!
• Vs. 3 – he wanted nothing wicked before his eyes…
• Vs. 3 – he hates those who turn away from doing right
• Vs. 4 – he rejects those with a froward or evil heart
• Vs. 5 – he will cut off any who slander. He wants no slanderers or gossips in his court
• Vs. 7 – he doesn’t want to associate with any deceitful men or liars! Avoid them!
• Vs. 6 – he wants to associate with the faithful… the godly… those who walk in a perfect way.
• That’s what WE should want too!
• We can’t avoid sinners and liars altogether—but our close friends and associates should consist of the godly!

7. What damage liars can do! They slander… they gossip… they spread rumors… they distort the truth… they tell half-truths… and untold damage is the result!

a. Prov. 26:28 – A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
• It is an expression of hatred of those afflicted.
• If someone lies about another person—that is hate in action!
• Sometimes that hatred can be covered up in flattery… which is a lie! (Prov. 10:18)
• Prov. 27:6 – faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Sometimes lies are covered up in sweet words—even kisses… like the kiss of Judas.
• But in the end, it works ruin… destruction… great damage.

b. Prov. 25:18 – like a maul, a sword, and a sharp arrow—all mighty destructive instruments! (try to envision each illustration!)
• Lies can hurt individuals…
• Lies can break families apart…
• Lies can separate chief friends…
• Lies can split churches…
• And there are individuals who DELIGHT in lies! (Ps. 62:4)
• Some individuals delight in telling lies because they delight in sowing discord and getting even… and hurting people.
• That is pure wickedness.

8. What should our response be to lies?

a. Pray: Ps. 31:18 – Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
• Pray that God would not allow much damage to be done by those who lie about us… our family… our church…
• I Pet. 2:15 – by our well doing we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men who are trying to harm us…

b. Pray: Psa. 109:1-4 – when it happens to you personally, GIVE yourself to prayer!
• This is acknowledging that God knows all…
• This is an acknowledgment that you are leaving it all in His care…
• This is a refusal to take vengeance into our own hands…
• This also expresses the fact that MUCH prayer is needed—give yourself to prayer!
• Ps. 52:1-5 – ultimately God will deal with every liar. No one lies without Him knowing all about it…

c. Pray: that God would deliver us from lying too!
• Ps. 119:29 – Remove from me the way of lying!
• Pr. 30:8 – Remove far from me vanity and lies.
• Let’s be honest. We have all lied… distorted the truth…

d. Purpose in your heart: Job determined that he would not use deceit!. (27:4)