You shall not bear false witness


Which of these pairs of crime do you think has the greater sentence?

  • Speeding or burgling a house?
  • Plotting to kidnap the Queen or littering? 
  • Telling a lie in Court or murdering someone? 

As you may have guessed, in the first two pairs it’s burglary and plotting to kidnap the Queen which would carry the greater sentences. But when it comes to the third pair, while you probably would get a longer sentence for murdering someone than telling a lie in Court, it’s not that simple. Depending on the circumstances you can get sent to prison for life for lying in Court. 

God in his law also takes truth telling very seriously and therefore he takes lying very seriously too. That is why it’s included in his top ten. After the commands against stealing and lying we get ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.’ 

God himself is a truth-telling God, in fact the bible says he never lies - our eternal salvation depends on it (Titus 1v2).  He wants his people to share his concern for truthful speech.