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The Necessity Of Honesty

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The prophet Jeremiah conveyed the Lord’s sentiment concerning Jerusalem’s population. The Lord desired to locate even one person who lived and dealt honestly:

Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem
look around and consider
search through her square.

If you can find just one person
who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
I will forgive the city. (Jer. 5:1-2).1

Such concern should be shown whatever lack of honesty and concern surrounds us. There is always a need for social and moral justice, for which we ourselves can seek and enjoy. Indeed, honest, righteous living in society is always a natural necessity. For when such is the case, people are not only honest but quick to obey the Lord. Thus, King David says to the Lord:

You have delivered me from the attack of the people;
you have made me the head of nations;
people I did not know are subject to me.

As soon as they hear me, they obey me;
foreigners cringe before me. (Ps. 18:43-44)

In an alphabetic psalm, he again reminds the people not to fear evil people: ”For like the grass it will soon whither, like green plants they will soon die away.” (Ps. 37:2; cf. vv. 35-36). In addition, he advises them to live whole-heartedly for the Lord (vv. 3-7). Here David emphasizes that one’s entire personality should be committed to the Lord: intellect (v. 3), emotions (v. 4), and will (vv.5-6). He then goes on to point out that whatever success evil doers may seem to have had, it will soon end for, evil men will “soon be cut off” (vv. 8-9).

In a later psalm, the psalmist praises God for his support amidst his troubles:

Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your love, O LORD, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Ps. 94:17-19)

As Futato remarks, “Even though our minds are deeply agitated with all sorts of disturbing thoughts, God has a way of coming to comfort us and bring us joy in the middle of sorrows”.2 Indeed, believers should remind themselves that the Lord is on their side to support and help them, however difficult the situation might be. Unlike the Israelites who soon forgot God’s gracious deliverance from Egypt (cf. Ps. 106:13), today’s believers should live faithfully to the Lord.

In a negative fashion one is reminded of King Rehoboam who rather than honestly trusting the Lord for deliverance, bought off Hazael, king of Aram, (cf. 2 Kings 12:17-18). On a positive note, the author of Proverbs speaks of a reward that an honest answer earns (cf. Prov. 24:26). Even:

The lips of the king speak as an oracle.
and his mouth should not betray justice.

Honest scales and balances are from the LORD;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.

Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.

Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
they value a man who speaks the truth. (Prov. 16:10-13).

Surely,

“A truthful witness gives honest testimony”. (Prov. 12:17)

May all of us, then, resolve to make honesty a solid way of life, remembering that the Lord Jesus himself spoke of the high value of honesty, not only in the matter of speech, but our conduct (cf. Jn. 16:7). May we also remember that the promised Holy Spirit, who lives within the believer, is H e who will guide us “unto all truth” (Jn. 16:13).

As Thanksgiving Day arrives, may we find ourselves submissive to his teaching and living our life in full honesty and thankfulness. This is especially true as we look forward with hopefulness to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the hymn writer says:

Jesus is coming to earth again –
What if it were today?
Coming in power and love to reign –
What if it were today?

…….

Faithful and true will He find us here
If He should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear
If He should come today?
Signs of His coming multiply,
Morning light breaks in eastern sky;
Watch, for the time is drawing nigh –
What if it were today?3


1 All scripture references from the NIV.

2 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms”, in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, eds. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, Il., Tyndale House, 2009), VII:305.

3 Lelia N. Morris, “What If It Were Today?”.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Devotionals

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