. . . When first we practice to deceive.
That quote above is from an old tale by Sir Walter Scott. It is pretty profound --- when we deceive, or lie, it is often not a "one shot deal" for us. One lie has to be backed up by another and explained by one more, then leads to a fourth one based on the first . . . isn't it so much easier, just to tell the truth? Then we don't have to keep inventing, shoring up, explaining our lie. And how many times have you heard on the news that the police are questioning someone, and their story doesn't seem to be "consistent" with their earlier words? Often, after that, you will hear that their first story was indeed a fabrication. Hmmmm, it seems it is also actually easier to remember, when we tell the truth!!
Our first verse today says that in contrast to the righteous person who hates lies (and loves the truth), the wicked person is loathsome. In my Bible, the root of that word is actually "stink" --- did you ever stop to think of what our sin seems like to a holy God? Ouch! It also says the wicked will come to "shame" and that word encompasses a lot of meanings: shame, blush, disappointment. In Daniel 12:2 we see that the wicked will finally awake, "some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Have you ever stopped to think about how illogical sin is? We are told over and over again that it will not profit us, and we have even seen in our own lives (and the lives of others, too) that it ends poorly, but we choose to sin, time and time again!!
In verse 6 we read that the righteous can be secure . . . those that deal honestly in all of their ways, and deal sincerely with both God and with man. That reliance on God will keep them from the temptations of Satan, and that integrity will preserve them from "the reproaches and injuries of evil men, which shall not fasten upon them, to do them any real mischief." (Matthew Henry)
I wanted to call our attention to two verses in Psalms that seemed to fit after reading the second verse we studied today: Psalm 25:21 is a real comfort to us: "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on thee." And Psalm 32:7a: Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble . . ."