The Last Word
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
There are at least two ways to be untruthful about another person. One, it is possible to tell a lie — to say that someone did or said something that he didn’t. The other way is not to tell the truth when you know someone is under a false impression. Staying quiet in the presence of a lie can be as wrong as telling the lie.
Ten of Jacob’s sons, who were also brothers of Joseph, the eleventh son, were guilty on both counts. First, they misrepresented what happened to Joseph; they pretended they didn’t know how Joseph’s torn, bloody coat got that way. They even pretended not to know if the coat was Joseph’s. Then, when Jacob reached a wrong conclusion about Joseph’s fate — that he had been killed by a wild animal — the brothers remained silent, knowing that they had sold Joseph, alive and well, to Midianite traders. Not to worry — God always gets the last word when it comes to truth as He did in Joseph’s case (Genesis 39:19-23; Matthew 12:36).
First, purpose never to traffic in falsehoods yourself. Second, purpose never to remain silent in the presence of a lie (Ephesians 4:15). The false reports of man are always subject to the final reports of God.
I am quite sure that the best way to promote union is to promote truth.
Charles H. Spurgeon (DJS)