Do you know anyone who tells lies? Liars infuriate me. Tell me the truth, even if it’s hard and ugly, but don’t lie to me. I have someone close to me that has a habit of lying, so I don’t believe anything they say – even if it has a kernel of truth at the core. Lies come from one source – and it’s not God.
The Lord said that Satan is “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Lying is his native tongue. His specialty is half-truths that look right and sound right but are not right. He started with a tiny bit of truth in the Garden and wove a lie that trapped Eve and put the entire human race under condemnation.
Matthew 4 records the scene as the devil tries to coerce Jesus into sin. He questioned Jesus’ position as the Son of God (v. 3) enticing the Lord to turn stones into bread or jump from the highest point of the temple to “prove” Himself (v. 5). In the temple temptation Satan actually quotes Scripture to Jesus: “If you are the Son of God, throw your self down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone'” (v. 6). This is a good-sounding argument right out of Psalm 91:11-12. Should be a witness to a Bible-believing fellow, right? But Satan stopped short of the whole truth in that passage. The very next verse speaks of his own demise: “You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent” (Psalm 91:13). The rest of this Psalm describes how God will rescue, protect, deliver, and honor the one who loves and worships Him only.
Many of us are on guard against Satan’s lies – but we are not always as wise to his half-truths. That is why it is vital to know the whole counsel of Scripture. The best way to tell a counterfeit bill is to know what the real thing looks like. The best way to discern a lie – or a half-truth – is to know the whole truth. And nothing but the truth. So help me God.