“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief…
19a A false witness that speaketh lies…”
“The slanderer is amongst the greatest of social curses. He robs his fellow creature of his greatest treasure – his own reputation, and the loving confidence of his friends.” – Joseph S. Exell*, 1905.
Daniel Webster (1828 dictionary) called slander “that worst of poisons.” And that is what the above verse is speaking of – poison that destroys reputations, confidence, and even lives.
No Weapons Needed
If you were to ask me to paint a picture in my mind of the perfect assassin, all I would need is a little black paint. On my mental canvas I would paint a Ninja warrior, armed to the teeth with swords, shuriken, darts, spiked gloves, and smoke grenades. As far as I know, ninja are the elite of stealthy killers.
Then again, I wouldn’t necessarily have to paint my ninja with weapons in hand. His hands are weapons to themselves. A ninja can slay 50 people with his pinky finger – just ask Chuck Norris.
But in reality, no assassin is more evil than “a false witness that speaketh lies.” No secret killer is more deadly than one who slanders the reputation of another. The slanderer needs no weapons, not even hands, to wipe out multiple lives. All he/she has to do is speak.
In the book of Genesis we can read the story of creation. In the book of John we can read even more…
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:1-3 KJV
The Word created everything that is. When there was absolutely nothing, not even time, Jesus, the Word of God made flesh (John 1:18), turned nothing into everything. He created. He brought life. He made life.On the other hand, the one who bears false witness does nothing but destroy with every word that comes from his/her mouth. What a contrast! Is it any wonder why God abhors this person?
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” – James 1:26 KJV
“For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.” – 1 Peter 3:10 NLT
I think my granny may have actually met Solomon. She always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Maybe Granny was right.*Exell, Joseph S. The Biblical Illustrator, (New York: F. H. Revell, 1905), 170.
- Ten deadly sins of the tongue~ (thenoiseinmyheadtoday.wordpress.com)