June 04, 2009

False charges

I have been reading a chapter from the Bible each night when we put David to bed. We've been doing this for many years, but recently decided to start at the beginning—in Genesis and work our way through the whole Bible. David has really enjoyed it and quite often asks questions about the stories and about customs in ancient Israel or Egypt.

Last night we read Exodus 23, and verse seven jumped out at me.

Exodus 23:7

Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked.

I think we Christians like to pat ourselves on the back and recognize the things we’re so very good at, while overlooking some glaring sins that we don’t want to deal with right now. For example, when reading this verse I am likely to say, “I would never kill someone, so I’m okay with what this verse is saying.” But I have just passed over the first part of the verse that says, “ keep far from a false charge.”

How often do Christians knowingly voice false charges against others? I know that I have done it and it has been done to me many times. Sometimes we will proclaim these false charges against a brother in order to make a story more juicy. Sometimes it is to get back at a perceived affront from that other person. But recently I have seen this sort of thing used to manipulate the thoughts of other people and to poison their thoughts against the person about whom the false charge has been made.

I guess we figure that if we can get people around us to think the right poisonous thoughts about others, it will help us to accomplish our purposes—when we can’t accomplish those purposes as efficiently with the truth.

God finds this wicked. And God will not acquit the wicked.

We need to be careful.

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