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   Have you noticed, that when you buy produce in a grocery store, that the scale upon which you place your fresh vegetables (usually sold by the pound) has a dated sticker affirming it was inspected by the State Department of Agriculture, and that the balance of the scale is certified, a True measure of weight?
  Even gasoline and diesel pumps are subject to the same strict inspection standards imposed by the State Department of Agriculture, and you’ll find a dated inspection sticker placed on these pumps as well, certifying the output of the pump agrees with the gallonage and its fractions read on the pump.
  In American jurisprudence is Lady Justice … blindfolded, holding a scale of balances in her right hand.
  To that end, witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense are required to either swear an oath or affirm the testimony they will give, is the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, (and some courts of law still add, “so help me, God).
  Some might regard this protocol as entrapment. But because of the base nature of humanity and in order to assure civility, penalties are attached to one’s perjuring himself or attempting to impeach the Truth. And if it be so in the courts established by man, how much more so, in Yahweh’s Court from Which there will be no appellate remedy?

Truth and Honesty Have Their Roots in Scripture
   This representation of Truth and Honesty has its root in Scripture:
  You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Yahweh your Elohim is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to Yahweh your Elohim, Deuteronomy 25:13-16. (English Standard Version used throughout, unless otherwise noted.)
  A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh, but a just weight is His delight, Proverbs 11:1. 
  Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to Yahweh, Proverbs 20:10. 
  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all, Romans 12:17.
  For we aim at what is honorable not only in Yahweh’s sight but also in the sight of man, 2 Corinthians 8:21.
  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, Exodus 20:16. 
  The theme of these verses is briefly comprehended in but two words; TRUTH and HONESTY.

A Case Study: Rahab and Jacob
   A read of the second chapter of Joshua renders the account of two spies sent by Joshua to Jericho, preparatory to the people of Israel crossing the Jordan to take possession of Canaan. From that narrative, the first seven verses figure prominently in our consideration of the events occurring there.
  And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out. 
  A second account comes to mind from Genesis 27:6-24, that tells of numerous falsehoods being perpetrated, under color of tendering the Almighty assistance in assuring that the Promise made to Abraham through Isaac might be facilitated through the son of Rebekah’s choosing. We read that narrative in Genesis 27. Isaac is old, his eyesight compromised by reason of age but as we discover later in the Genesis chronicle, not so near death as he supposed.
  Nevertheless, convinced in his own mind that he was at death’s door, he summoned his elder son Esau that he might convey the blessing of patrimony upon him. For as the elder son, his was the right of primogeniture. Rebekah, however, privy to her husband’s intention, enlisted their younger son Jacob – his name, incidentally, means, supplanter or cheat – as an accessory to her ruse.
  While Esau was out in the field, exercising his prowess as a hunter, Jacob retired to the herd, fetching for his mother two young kids from among the goats, so that she could prepare savory meat such as his father loved and then, at the urging of his mother, surreptitiously represented the plate of goat’s meat as venison, and himself as Esau.
  Even with much opportunity provided him by his father to confirm the Truth, Jacob persisted with his deception that, yes, he was Esau – surely, owing to Isaac’s ocular disability, he would never know that the younger’s hands and arms were covered with goat’s hair. And, yes, he was able to find and prepare the “venison” so quickly because Yahweh, Isaac’s Elohim – for He was certainly not Jacob’s at that moment – had brought it to him. (And, incidentally, it is a fearful thing to make the Sovereign, Set Apart One complicit with one’s deception.)
  So, now, the first of several questions is proposed. If now there is no lie of the Truth, how is it that Rahab and Jacob should be permitted to figure in the genealogy of the Messiah Yahshua Who has received to Himself, the appellation of True and Faithful?
  Well, upon Yahshua Who never sinned was imputed the sins of all men. And seeing there are none righteous, no, not one (Rom. 3:10); and there is none that does good, no, not one (Rom. 3:12); and there is not one who has not sinned (Rom. 5:12) – for all have sinned and come short of the glory of Yahweh, Romans 3:23, KJV – there could not, perhaps, have been found any better to have represented this fallen species called man.
  Let’s settle it now, outside the Sovereign’s Court. Neither Rahab, nor Jacob, needed to provide things dishonest in the sight of men and Him before Whom all things are naked and opened. Quite, is Yahweh able to accomplish His purposes by His Word. Those two dispatched by Joshua might have stirred the Sovereign to make for them, a miraculous way of escape. And Rebekah and Jacob might instead, have trusted and acknowledged Yahweh instead of leaning to their own understanding and then, just maybe, He would have directed their way.
  And to Rebekah and Jacob, who ought to have known better, proceeded this curse: In one day, that thing which Jacob had feared had come to pass (Gen. 27:12-13, 31:41). His treachery had gotten him the hatred of his elder brother, and Rebekah fearing for her favorite’s life and wellness of being, dispatched him away.
  Yes, in one day, both Jacob and his mother Rebekah incurred to themselves, a curse. Jacob became subject himself, to treacheries at the hand of his uncle Laban, compounded as a just recompense for the dishonor he had shown toward his father Isaac (137 years old at that time, but living another 43 years past his wife and son’s trespass) and Rebekah, the loss of both her sons – Esau in his bitterness, and Jacob in his exile.
Indeed, the compounding of one lie leads to another lie, and to another lie, and to another lie, until it is difficult, if not impossible, to get to the core of Truth.
  And we’ll make five observations here:
    • if you always tell the Truth, you won’t have to remember what you said;
    • a half-truth is a whole lie;
    • stretch the Truth (exaggerating) and It will snap back at you;
    • without correcting an untruth, allowing someone to believe a lie is a lie; and,
    • telling even a little white lie makes you to become color blind.

Visiting the Iniquity of a Father upon a Son
   Returning to Abraham and his progeny, we notice a propensity in this family toward being less than completely Truthful and Honest.
  In Genesis, Chapter 20, we read the account of Abraham dwelling in Gerar, and representing Sarah, his wife, as his sister to Abimelech (which means, my father king and more of a title, like Pharaoh, than a name).
  But a lie, even if it is a half-truth (which, incidentally, is a whole lie), won’t wash with Yahweh.
  And notice how Abraham justified his mis-representation:
  Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of Yahweh at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife,” Genesis 20:11-12. 
  Incidentally, it is fortunate Abraham’s marriage to Sarah preceded the giving of the codified TORAH, as it is written:
  You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home, Leviticus 18:9. 
  Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, “Amen,” Deuteronomy 27:22.
  Six chapters later, in Chapter 26, we read that Isaac – perhaps involved with the same sovereign in Gerar – experiences the same circumstance with his wife whom also, he represented as his sister to those men of that place who had given notice of her.
  Note well, that with both Abraham and his son Isaac, there was one underlying reason for their deception, lest the men of the place should kill me because she was attractive in appearance (Gen. 26:7) – FEAR, the underlying rationale for the lie Rahab, Abraham, and Isaac told.

FEAR, an Underlying Rationale for a Lie
   The spirit of fear is antithetical to the sobriety of mind that proceeds from Yahweh (1 Tim. 1:7). And so, we don’t need to wonder who the author of FEAR is!
  It is he, by the way, about whom the Master said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). 
  In the New Testament, we have a classic example of FEAR motivating one to sin:
Simon Peter, found out now, as a Galilean and a disciple of This Man about to be condemned to death, replied to one’s query,“ ‘I do not know Him … I neither know nor understand what you mean’ ” (Luke 22:57; Mark 14:68).
  But we have only to look at Yahshua, to see how He handled Himself in such matters. But first of all, let us review something He said to His disciples, and as well, to us:
  “… Take no thought how or what ye shall speak … settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer … for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak … For I will give you a mouth and wisdom …” (Matt. 10:19; Luke 21:14; Matt. 10:19; Luke 21:15-16, KJV).
  Much more than an answer to the tribunals of men, we can appropriate these words as a guide toward Truth and Honesty. Because to a particular end Yahshua had been born, and for a cause had He come into the world, there was no need for Him to stand in His own defense, when He was interrogated by those who sat in judgment of Him. And so, He, at times, answered nothing or took the tact of neither confirming nor denying their charges, saying instead, “You say that I am” (Luke 22:70; John 18:37). Not every thing spoken requires reply, and especially if what should be replied would constitute a lie.
  Whatever the character of our reply – whether a half-truth, an exaggeration, or an outright lie – we give, is motivated by FEAR of being found out, though one may be sure, his sin will find him out anyway (Num. 32:23).

  Such accounts and narratives presented in the breadth of Holy Scripture are given us as examples, for (1) our learning, and (2) our admonition.
  We have before us the example of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who, faced with the fiery furnace heated seven times more than customary, were not careful to answer Nebuchadnezzar, saying, “If this be so, our Elohim Whom we serve is able to deliver us … But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Dan. 3:17a, 18).
  Neither did their companion and friend-in-exile, Daniel, cease praying to his Elohim in spite of Darius (who, incidentally, was the emancipator of Judah from their captivity, see Ezra 5:6) and whose decree imposed the penalty of providing savory flesh to the appetite of the lions if any should be found praying to any other elohim than what was sanctioned by the king.
  Their Truth and Honesty, their maintaining the Integrity of their Hearts in the face of hazard to their lives, earned for them a legacy of honor among the pages of Holy Writ … just as certain as our Truth and Honesty, and maintaining the Integrity of our Hearts will earn for us a good report in the Annals of that Book of Remembrance that is even now, being written.

Truth and Honesty May Produce Tension
   We acknowledge there is tension in reading Scripture narratives of personages highly esteemed but who were nevertheless, men and women of like passions as we and who, like us, fell short of always presenting things Truthful and Honest in the sight of man and before Yahweh.
  Come to mind are some already mentioned – Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rahab, David (who was much less than Truthful and Honest with Abiathar, the High Priest at Nob), Simon Peter, and many others – whose circumstances of life and living among fallen humanity in a fallen world, presented them the same challenges and produced the same conundrum of how to perform what was good and acceptable; of how to discern the “greater good”: telling the Truth, demonstrating Honesty, when doing so should result in harm or injury or not doing so, would spare one’s self or another harm or injury.
  In favor of the latter course, some would appeal to Scripture for the answer:
  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13.
  Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law, Romans 13:8. 
  Indeed, love is still, a fulfillment of the Law. For though you should lay down your life for another, be sure your offering is for a just and righteous cause, motivated by this: If you love Me, you will keep My Commandments, John 14:15.
  And this: Whoever has My Commandments and keeps Them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. … If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My Words. And the Word that you hear is not Mine but the Father’s Who sent Me, John 14:15, 21, 23-24. 
  Well, perhaps that way by which one may find how to perform what is Truthful and Honest is simply permitting the SOVEREIGNTY of Yahweh’s will, so well expressed by others who, faced with immolation, did not retreat to what was abominable: “If this be so, our Elohim Whom we serve is able to deliver us … But if not be it known that we will not … make a way to escape” (Dan. 3:17a, 18a; 1 Cor. 10:13b).

   We began our inquiry by asserting that American jurisprudence, which is subordinate to Yahweh’s jurisprudence, requires witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense to swear or affirm the testimony they will give, is the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.
  Truth and Honesty only hurt when They need to, and a lie and dishonesty but deprive the liar of prospering in the life that now is, and deny him the life that should be.

-Elder John W. Reece

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