Words from the Heart for Tuesday April 20th, 2021
You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:16 (NLT)
Perjury is the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry. Misleading justice is a very serious and punishable criminal offence in most countries, including Canada. A person charged for perjury is liable to imprisonment if found guilty. The maximum period you can be sentenced to prison is 14 years. If the evidence provided by one witness is corroborated in a significant detail by evidence that implicates the accused, the accused can be convicted.
These days, we hear all too regularly what is being called “fake news.” We hardly know what to believe any more. It can have a huge effect on others, particularly when someone is accused of something for which they bear no guilt. A popular TV show these days is called “For Life” and is based on the life of Isaac Wright Jr. who spent seven and a half years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. This is not a unique situation. God knew from the beginning how damaging false testimony can be. So, in the Ten Commandments God speaks to this matter. In Exodus 20:16 we read, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.” An integral part of the nature of God is justice. Unlike our imperfect judicial system, God doesn’t miss a thing. He knows the truth and He alone judges without prejudice. He also knows the sin that so often drives the human heart and human action. He calls His people to His justice. That means we are to speak to the truth in all things, no matter what it might cost us, and particularly when it comes to matters that would harm others.
These have been words from the heart.