You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:11)
Before moving on in this chapter, I want to address one other point as it relates to honesty juxtaposed with lies and dealing falsely. According to rabbinic philosophy, truth (in Hebrew, אמת emet) is regarded as God’s Seal, meaning that everything He says and does is True and eternal. And because it is God’s seal, so to speak, truth is considered to be the pillar of the Universe. The implication of that belief is that, if it were possible for truth to be overcome and removed from existence, the Universe as a whole would implode.
Thankfully, that will not happen because, “Forever O LORD your Word is settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:80). Nevertheless, as His people, we have an obligation to remain grounded in truth and not give ground to the subtle ways deceit and dishonesty try to creep in and seduce us away from the truth. If we fail do that, we allow falsehood and deceit to gain a foothold in our lives and the lives of others. I realize that most of us would never consciously lie to someone, still, there are other ways dishonesty can creep in if we’re not careful.
For example, if we feel compelled to get into long, lengthy explanations in order to better our position with others, we might be allowing the Adversary to gain a foothold in our life — that’s what Yeshua said in Matthew 5:37. Here is another example: if we misrepresent ourselves to others in order to garner publicity or undue attention, we are “stealing” their good opinion. The Bible says that Absalom ingratiated himself to others and “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (2 Samuel 15:2-6). In short, false modesty amounts to deceiving others into having a flattering opinion of us.
This should never be with God’s people — we must be honest and truthful lest we aid and abet the enemy of our soul and accuser of the brethren. Just as Truth is regarded as the pillar of the Universe, we are called to be pillars in the house of our God, that is, if we are like those in the church of Philadelphia who persevered, kept His Word and refused to deny His authority in their lives. In short, let us be those who embrace, love and live the Truth.
Blessings and Shalom,