Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift to run to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren.”
David, speaking to his son in Proverbs 6:16
In Proverbs 6, David listed for his son’s benefit seven things that God especially hates. Thinking on those things recently, I pondered over this question: If God especially hates those seven things, then what are their opposites, for God must especially love them? So, I sat down with my son Elijah and we set about to determine what seven things are especially precious to God. This is the sixth of those seven precious things.
A false witness is, of course, a liar, but the lying is not the point here. “A lying tongue” has already been condemned in this series. This time, the focus is on the purpose of the lie.
In ancient Israel, a godly man named Naboth, together with his sons, was condemned in court to die because Queen Jezebel hired men to bear false witness against him. False witnesses were also hired to testify against the Lord Jesus and, later, Stephen. These men rented their bodies to others; they surrendered control of their tongues for a price and allowed other men’s lying words to proceed out of their mouths. They sold their bodies to wicked people and cared nothing that those people were renting their bodies to do a great evil. They only wanted the money.
Eternal truth is irrelevant to such men; God’s justice is irrelevant to them; the only thing that matters to them is that they do as they are paid to do and to win the case for those who hire them. In some respects, the same can be said for Christian ministers who often “hear the call” to minister for another Church when they hear the clink of more money falling into the offering pan. They teach what the congregation pays them to teach or they are fired, and they know it. God absolutely abhors those whose judgment and whose words are determined on the basis of what one is paid to say.
Everybody on earth is born with a nature that has a selling out price. We all have been false witnesses, speaking things not because they were true but because we wanted some reward from men for doing so. And until we come to Jesus for refuge and receive strength to deny ourselves and overcome the flesh, our souls remain susceptible to the ungodly influence of money.
That is why God so dearly loves the few people on earth who are not for sale, the people whose words and behavior cannot be bought, who are sincere and faithful to what they really believe in their heart is true.
The blind man whom Jesus healed in John 9 was not for sale. He did not know who had healed him, but when the elders tried to condemn Jesus just because they said he was evil, he refused. “Whether he is a sinner or not”, he testified in open court, “I do not know. But I know this; I once was blind and now, I see.” His heart and his thoughts were his own. He could not be pressured to be otherwise or bought with money. And when he was cast out by the elders, Jesus came looking for him.
God dearly loves the person who cannot be bought. He loves the soul that thinks whatever it thinks freely, and feels whatever it feels honestly, and says whatever it says sincerely. He can reach honest-hearted people, and He seeks them out.
If you are for rent, God despises you. If you are for rent, you are among the many whom God most abhors. But if you are real with your feelings and your words when you deal with others, you are among God’s most loved and desired souls.