"Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness." Psalm 119:40
Text: Exodus 23 : 1-3
THE DECALOGUE EXPOUNDED AND APPLIED
A careful study of the judgments that God gave to Moses would reveal an important truth. The judgments were in fact expositions of the Decalogue! The moral law was the basis or the foundation of the civil laws of the nation!
SEVERE WARNING AGAINST BEARING FALSE WITNESS
The ninth commandment expressly forbade bearing false witness against a neighbour (Cf. Exodus 20:16). The following text exemplifies how this may occur.
“You shall not circulate a false report.
Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an
1. “You shall not circulate a false report”
One way of bearing false witness is to “circulate a false report”. The deadliness of the false report is sometimes incalculable with reference to damage to a victim! This danger was so real that it received a direct and forceful word of prohibition.
2. “Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness”
The wicked would think nothing of using every means available to them to achieve their ends! They would even make use of the law to fulfil their wicked desires. If the law requires witnesses, they would produce false witnesses, where necessary! The word of advice is very clear! The wicked must not be supported in any way! Being an unrighteous witness is unthinkable. This would be nothing short of abetting wickedness!
THE DANGER OF PERVERTING JUSTICE
No matter how complete and well articulated God’s laws may be, there would always be people who would try and get around them. The upholding of the law must be foremost in the heart and mind of the upright, whether they are judges or the average man in the street!
“You shall not follow a crowd to do evil;
nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside
after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality
to a poor man in his dispute.”
1. “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil”
To bear false witness is to do evil. To testify falsely is to do evil! To pervert justice is surely evil!
2. “You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute”
The wicked will take advantage of any situation, and any man! He would think nothing of bullying the poor man in a court of law! The wicked must be resisted and not abetted! The righteous poor must be given every support!