July 26, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church July 26, 2020
Church Service Notes
Scripture: Exodus 20:16
This commandment forbids lying. We are supposed to be people who speak the truth. Ephesians 4:25 tells us we are supposed to put away all slander and lying, and we are supposed to speak the truth. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:12 we are supposed to treat people the way we would want them to treat us. As we discuss lying, I want us to think about it in terms of that admonition regarding treating others. Most everyone would agree lying is not a good thing and we do not like it when someone lies about us or to us. However, we often excuse our own lies. I want to look at ways our own speech may cause other people to have a negative consequence that we would not want to experience ourselves.
One way people lie is to deceive someone else. Sometimes the deception is meant harm to others, to destroy people, or bring about pain. The devil is described as the father of lies and as a lion who roams around looking to devour people. The devil deceives people with his lies to harm them. Much of our culture today has believed the deceptions of the devil and as a result we experience destruction. For instance: lies about the life of excess as acceptable. We know from experience excess causes negative consequences that harm people. Also the deception of false religions not based on the Bible that do not recognize Jesus as Savior nor God as the one true God. Any system that is teaching another way to salvation is a lie. Those lies are going to lead people to hell, the ultimate destruction.
We would all agree that deceitful lies to cause others harm is a terrible and most of us probably avoid such lies. However, I believe there are two lies of deception that we may be more likely to commit. One is to gain an advantage over others. This may happen business or the workplace. Someone may lie about the practices of a competing business or about a coworker. We may excuse these lies because there is a benefit to us. We may excuse half- truths or exaggerated truths that give us the upper hand. We have to guard against being dishonest in our business and dealings with other people. The second lie of deception we may commit is perhaps the most common lie of deception: when we lie to protect ourselves from the consequences of our own sins. Proverbs 28:13 tells us that if we cover our sins we will not prosper but when we confess them we will have mercy. When we lie to cover up our sins, the Holy Spirit starts to convict us. It begins to eat at us and pull at our hearts. If we do wrong, we have to confess it, as we are instructed in Proverbs. We have to guard our hearts, pursue righteousness, and not lie.
Another type of lie is the slanderous lie. When we slander others it impacts their reputation. In Psalm 101:5 the Lord tells us whoever lies against another person will be cut off from Him. The Lord does not condone slander. Gossip is the common way we slander. If you are not willing to say something to someone’s face, you should not say it about them to someone else. We do not want to cause harm to another person because of slanderous lies about them.
Another type of lie I want us to consider is lying by silence. If we have truthful information regarding a situation but we do not share it when needed, that is the same as lying. James 4:17 states: to know to do right but not doing it is sin. We have to examine the situations we are in. If we know the truth and we refuse to speak it when needed, that is considered a sin as it violates what James instructs us.
Another way we lie is by spreading false information. We can come across false information, find it interesting it, not vet it for truth, and then share it. When we do this we are spreading a lie and are lying ourselves. Jeremiah 7 addresses lying with false information. The false information is regarding a theory that the temple would always save Jerusalem. This theory distorted the truth of past events told in 2 Kings 18 and 19. Hezekiah was king of Judah when it was being attacked by the Assyrians. The Assyrians reached Jerusalem after conquering other cities of Judah. At this time, Hezekiah pleads and prays to God for deliverance. The Lord sends an angel that kills the much of the Assyrian army and Jerusalem does not fall. It is God who protected Jerusalem but, in the following decades, people begin to credit the victory to the presence of the temple rather than God. In Jeremiah 7, the Lord tells them they are falsely putting their faith in the temple and excusing their sins without regard for Him and His commands. All of these problems began with a false theory that people spread and whole generations believed a lie. We need to vet information before we share lies and lead people astray.
When you think about these examples of lying: lying to deceive, lying to slander, not speaking truth, or spreading false information; put yourself in other people’s shoes. Would you consider it loving if someone lied to deceive or slander you? Would you consider it loving if someone did not speak truth to/for you? What if you lead them to their own downfall? We have to be people who put aside lying and speak the truth so our witness of Christ will be considered trustworthy. If we are not trustworthy, why would people believe this audacious claim that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again? If people know we are trustworthy people there is weight behind our words because we have been proven to be people who tell the truth. We have to be people who speak the truth. Maybe you have not been an honest person in the past, but the Lord forgives. It may not be easy to overcome that reputation, but you can start today being an honest person and someone who loves the Lord. God redeems us. He will put truth in our hearts. You decide what comes out. Be a person who speaks the truth.
Scripture: Job 1:1-5
Tonight’s passage tells us who Job was prior to his sufferings. It is important we learn his character so we can develop those traits in our own life prior to the sufferings that will come to us. This will help us to go through them with the same faith. Verse 1 tells us Job was perfect and upright, feared the Lord, and shunned evil. In verse 2 we learn he has a large family and is a family man. In verse 3, we see the description of his wealth. It says he was the greatest of all the men of the east. Job has material wealth and reputation. In verse 4, we see each of his seven sons eat at their homes on a different day of the week and all the family would join together to eat. Verse 5 tells us Job would offer burnt offerings on behalf of his children. He is a parent who is seeking the Lord for his children, even though they are adults.
Now, what of these five verses are things that Job controlled and was able to do for himself? If Job was able to control these things and do them for himself, we can follow his example in our life. The things that were outside of his control we can understand to be outside of our control and not necessary for faith.
Verse 1 describes Job as perfect and upright meaning he was a man of complete integrity. His integrity was something Job controlled. He made the decisions to do the things that led to him being described as upright. Job is also described as the one that feared God. Job had the choice to reject God, fear God or be neutral to God but he chose God – this was a choice he controlled. The verse ends saying Job shunned evil. That is also a choice within Job’s control. We have the power to make the choice to pursue sin or not. All the things in verse 1 are controllable.
The second verse says Job had seven sons and three daughters. Having a family is not entirely in our control. We cannot guarantee successful pregnancies. Once a child is born, we cannot guarantee a child will live to adulthood. Tragedies and natural disasters happen that may lead to the death of a child. The description of Job as a family man, is not something we have complete control over. We may have a role in the development of our family but we do not have any guarantees in establishing a family.
In verse three, we see the description of Job’s wealth. If we ask the question: “Did Job have control over his wealth?” we see that he did not as he loses it in the disasters to come. We can work hard and make good choices to potentially obtain wealth, but we cannot guarantee success or wealth. Thieves or natural disasters could take away our wealth. Businesses and business ideas fail. The stock market goes up and down. There is a lot that goes into wealth that is far beyond our control. The last part of this verse speaks of Job’s reputation. Job was a good steward of his wealth and acquired many things, and people looked at him as the greatest man in the east. But a reputation based on status cannot be guaranteed. Others can acquire more possessions and achieve a greater status. The definition of greatness can change. We play a role in our reputation, but we do not have complete control of it.
In verse 4, we see the description of Job’s family enjoying fellowship together. Did Job control this? He certainly played a role in it and encouraged his children to get along, but he could not control his children’s choices and behaviors. Children make their own decisions, and parents do not have control of those decisions. We can hope the best for them and invest in them, but it is their mind and their choices. Job had no guarantee his children would get along into adulthood or the paths they would take and neither do parents today. Regardless of how good a parent you may be, your children may go stray away from God. While tragic and hurtful, that is outside a parent’s control.
Verse 5 provides a picture of Job as a parent. He is offering sacrifices and burnt offerings on the behalf of his adult children. This is in Job’s control. We do not burn offerings anymore, but as parents, we should be praying for our children. That is in our control. Like Job, we should seek God’s favor continually not just during hard times or problems.
As we look at these verses, the descriptions of verses 2, 3, and 4 are out of Job’s control and are out of our control. Wealth, achievements, status, family success are not Job’s main identifying characteristics and not the most important things. But many of us may try to make these things the most important things in our lives. Since they are out of our control, such an emphasis on these things is bound to fail us. Verses 1 and 5 are the most important parts of Job’s character. They are also things he has control over and what we can have control over in our own lives. Like Job, we can choose to be people of integrity, live in obedience to the Lord, to not pursue sin, and not give in to temptation. Will we fear the Lord by putting our trust in God, by having reverence for God, and understanding our position with the Lord? He is the King of Kings and we are sinners saved by His grace. Fearing the Lord is being thankful to the Lord and recognizing all our blessings come from Him. Will we seek the Lord continually like Job? We need to meditate on His Scriptures and pray to God. If we want to have the foundation to withstand the trials and suffering, we have to seek the Lord continually in our own lives. This foundation of faith is what allows us to get through the suffering that eventually comes.