A False Witness Prov. 25:18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
A false witness is one who lies – generally, he lies about someone else to cause them harm – it is against the law to be a false witness – Ex 20:16
In this passage false witnesses are called a maul [a heavy long handled hammer used for splitting wood] – when someone really gets beat up, they say he got mauled – he is also a sword and an arrow – these things kill you – so notice:
False witnesses were responsible for the death of Naboth – 1 Ki 21:8-13
False witnesses were responsible for the death of Jesus – Matt 26:60
False witnesses were responsible for the death of Stephen – Acts 6:13-7:1
Now in the Old Testament a false witness got the same treatment as the person he accused was supposed to get if he had been found guilty based on the testimony of the false witness – Deut 19:15-21 – just look what happened to the false witnesses that testified against Naboth, Jesus and Stephen – if we still had this law, the court dockets would clear up and so would bad-mouthed Christians.
So being a false witness is serious business – that’s why Prov 19:5, 9; 21:28.
Therefore, do not witness against another person for any reason until you know all of the facts and then only witness if there is a compelling reason and only tell the appropriate person – my mother says, “I hate to hear bad news about people” – Prov 10:12 love covereth all sins.
A compelling reason to witness is to protect others – for example you should warn others of a wolf in sheep’s clothing – the Bible says, “mark them” – you should also warn others of a thief, a sexual predator, a lie that a liar has told and so forth – another reason to witness is to tell when asked by someone who needs to know.
A major problem is that people rarely get it right – third hand stuff is generally way off base yet it is used by the false witness however he intends to use it – so if you are relying on something someone else said BE SURE to study the thing out carefully – ask the person directly – hear their side of the story and check them for lies or truth.
Remember if you destroy someone else’s reputation with your witness, be sure that you would be willing to have your own reputation destroyed by the same kind of witness about you – if you think that it is something that should be kept quiet if it were told about you, then keep quiet – don’t get the reputation, “he can dish it out but he can’t take it.”
Be a true witness and have the character and good report of a faithful witness; not one who exaggerates the truth and lies.