I. PEOPLE ARE DISHONEST
A. HUMAN HEART IS DISHONEST
. . . the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth . . . (Genesis 8:21).
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick . . . (Jeremiah 17:9).
For out of the heart come evil thoughts . . . thefts, false witness, slanders (Matthew 15:19).
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts and fornications, thefts . . . deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit . . . (Mark 7:21-22).
B. PEOPLE PRACTICE RELATIVE HONESTY
. . . every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
C. EXAMPLES OF DISHONEST PEOPLE
Yet your father [Laban] has cheated me [Jacob] and changed my wages ten times . . . (Genesis 31:7).
Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have stolen and deceived . . . Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekles of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them . . . (Joshua 7:11, 20-21).
His [Samuel’s] sons, however did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain . . . (1 Samuel 8:3).
“And you [Elijah] shall speak to speak to him [Ahab], saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you murdered, and also taken possession?”’ . . . ( Kings 21:19).
The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth (salm 58:3).
Your rulers are rebels, and companions of thieves . . . (Isaiah 1:23).
. . . they [leaders of Jerusalem] are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one (Isaiah 56:11).
For from the least of them [Israelites] even to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely (Jeremiah 6:13).
Will you steal . . . swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known . . . has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 7:9, 11).
Her princes within her [Israel] are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain . . . The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery (Ezekiel 22:27, 29).
[in Israel] There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and adultery (Hosea 4:1-2).
The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary . . . (Hosea 5:10).
. . . the iniquity of Ephriam is uncovered, and the evil deeds of Samaria, for they deal falsely; the thief enters in, bandits raid outside (Hosea 7:1).
A merchant [Ephraim], in whose hands are false balances . . . (Hosea 12:7).
Is there yet a man in the wicked house [Israel], along with the treasures of wickedness, and short measure that is cursed? Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? For the rich men of the city are full of violence, her residents speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth (Micah 6:10-12).
But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it (John 12:4-6).
. . . Barabbas was a robber (John 18:40).
But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it . . . his wife came in not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well” (Acts 5:1-10).
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12).
And the rest of mankind . . . did not repent . . . of their thefts (Revelation 9:20-21).
1. Parable using dishonesty as illustration
Now He [Jesus] was also saying to the disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ And the steward said to himself, “What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the stewardship, they will receive me into their homes.” And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, “How much do you owe my master?” And he said, “A hundred measures of oil.” Then he said to him, “Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.” Then he said to another, “And how much do you owe?” And he said, “A hundred measures of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill, and write eighty.” And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light (Luke 16:1-8).
D. DISHONESTY CONCEALED BY RELIGION
Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely . . . then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered! – that you may do all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? . . . (Jeremiah 7:9-11).
Her [Israel] leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, her priests instruct for a price, and her prophets divine for money (Micah 3:11).
Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer;’ but you are making it a robbers’ den” (Matthew 21:12-13).
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence (Matthew 23:25).
And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. And he began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den” (Mark 11:15-17).
But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness (Luke 11:39).
He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.’ but you have made it a robbers’ den” (Luke 19:45-46).
He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise” (John 2:14-16).
For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain (Titus 1:10-11).
II. GOD REQUIRES ABSOLUTE HONESTY
A. THE LORD IS TRUTH, BUT SATAN IS THE FATHER OF LIES
1. God is truth
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life . . . (John 14:6).
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth . . . (John 16:13).
And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth (1 John 5:7).
2. Satan is the father of lies
. . . He [the devil] was a murder from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44).
B. UNDER OLD TESTAMENT LAW
You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15).
You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him . . . (Leviticus 19:11-13).
You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin . . . (Leviticus 19:35-36).
If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend, or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not wrong one another. Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops. In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years, you shall diminish its price; for it is a number of crops he is selling you. So you shall not wrong one another . . . (Leviticus 25:14-17).
You shall not steal (Deuteronomy 5:19).
You shall not remove your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set . . . (Deuteronomy 19:14).
You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 25:13-16).
C. GENERAL BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit (Psalm 34:13).
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being . . . (Psalm 51:6).
. . . do not vainly hope in robbery . . . (Psalm 62:10).
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write then on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you (Proverbs 4:24).
A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a false mouth (Proverbs 6:12).
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: . . . a lying tongue . . . a false witness who utters lies . . . (Proverbs 6:16, 19).
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight His delight (Proverbs 11:1).
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight (Proverbs 12:22).
A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully (Proverbs 13:5).
A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness speaks lies (Proverbs 14:5).
A truthful witness saves lives, but he who speaks lies is treacherous (Proverbs 14:25).
Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool; much less are lying lips to a prince (Proverbs 17:7).
A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; all the weights of the bag are His concern (Proverbs 16:11).
Differing weights and differing measures, both of them are abominable to the Lord (Proverbs 20:10).
Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, and a false scale is not good (Proverbs 20:23).
Do not rob the poor because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord will plead their case, and take the life of those who rob them (Proverbs 22:22-23).
Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set (Proverbs 22:28).
Do not move the ancient boundary, or go into the fields of the fatherless (Proverbs 23:10).
Buy truth, and do not sell it . . . (Proverbs 23:23).
He who robs his father or his mother, and says, “It is not a transgression,” is the companion of a man who destroys (Proverbs 28:24).
To deprive a man of justice in the presence of the Most High, to defraud a man in his lawsuit – of these things the Lord does not approve (Lamentations 3:35-36).
These are the things which you [Judah] should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord (Zechariah 8:16-17).
And some tax-gatherers also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” And some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely . . . (Luke 3:12-14).
. . . You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? . . . You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (Romans 2:21-22).
Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that your brethren. Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither . . . thieves . . . nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:7-10).
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another (Ephesians 4:25).
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14).
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices (Colossians 3:9).
Abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
realizing the fact that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for . . . liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching (1 Timothy 1:9-10).
Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering . . . (Titus 2:9,-0).
Be holy yourselves in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:15-16).
By no means let any of you suffer as a . . . thief, or evil-doer . . . (1 Peter 4:15).
D. REQUIRED OF LEADERS
Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them, as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, of tens. And let them judge the people at all times . . . (Exodus 18:21-22).
Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness (Proverbs 20:28).
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days (Proverbs 28:16).
Thus says the Lord God, “Enough, you princes of Israel . . . Stop expropriations from My people,” declares the Lord God. “You shall have a just balance, a just ephah, and a just bath (Ezekiel 45:9-10).
Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not doubletongued . . . or fond of sordid gain (1 Timothy 3:8).
For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not . . . fond of sordid gain (Titus 1:7).
Therefore, I exhort the elders among you . . . shepherd the flock of God among you . . . not for sordid gain, but with eagerness (1 Peter 5:1-2)
E. HONESTY REQUIRED IN GIVING
. . . you bring what was taken by robbery, and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?” says the Lord. But cursed be the swindler . . . (Malachi 1:13-14).
1. Not giving properly considered robbery
“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! (Malachi 3:8-9).
F. HONESTY MORE VALUABLE THAN RICHES
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool (Proverbs 19:1).
. . . it is better to be a poor man than a liar (Proverbs 19:22).
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is crooked though he be rich
G. EXAMPLES OF HONEST PEOPLE
I [Moses] have not taken a single donkey from them . . . (Numbers 16:15).
“Here I [Samuel] am; bear witness against me before the Lord and His anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? . . . I will restore it to you.” And they said, “You have not defrauded us, or oppressed us, or taken anything from any man’s hand.” And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you and His anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing in my hand” . . . (1 Samuel 12:3-5).
If I [Job] have walked with falsehood, and my foot hastened after deceit . . . let me sow and another eat, and let my crops be uprooted (Job 31:5, 8).
Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him (Daniel 6:4).
My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also towards you O king, I have committed no crime (Daniel 6:22).
The remnant of Israel will do no wrong and tell no lies, nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths; for they shall feed and lie down with no one to make them tremble (Zephaniah 3:13).
1. Example of testing people for honesty
. . . we [Joseph’s brothers] are honest men . . . Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die.” And they did so (Genesis 42:11,18-20).
‘We [Joseph’s brothers] are honest men . . . the lord [Joseph] of the land, said to us, `By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but honest men (Genesis 42:31-34).
H. GODLY PEOPLE HATE DISHONESTY
A righteous man hates falsehood . . . (Proverbs 13:5).
III. WHY GOD REQUIRES ABSOLUTE HONESTY
A. WE CANNOT BE DISHONEST AND LOVE GOD
He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is crooked in his ways despises Him (Proverbs 14:2).
B. WE CANNOT BE DISHONEST AND LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR
A lying tongue hates those it crushes . . . (Proverbs 26:28).
. . . You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor . . . (Romans 13:9-10).
C. HONESTY CREATES CREDIBILITY FOR EVANGELISM
. . . prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15).
D. HONESTY HELPS DIRECT OUR LIVES
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established (Proverbs 4:24-26).
E. EVEN THE SMALLEST DISHONESTY IS DEVASTATING
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing in unrighteous also in much (Luke 16:10).
IV. HOW TO ESCAPE TEMPTATION TO BE DISHONEST?
A. BY GOD’S GRACE AND POWER
Incline my heart to Thy testimonies, and not to dishonest gain (Psalm 119:36).
Two things I asked of Thee, do not refuse me before I die: keep deception and lies far from me . . . (Proverbs 30:7-8).
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another . . . (Galatians 5:16-17)
B. BY PRACTICING THE “GOLDEN RULE”
Therefore whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them; for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12).
Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
C. BY A “HEALTHY FEAR” OF THE LORD
. . . by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil (Proverbs 16:6).
D. ISOLATING OURSELVES FROM THE DISHONEST
I do not sit with deceitful men . . . (Psalm 26:4).
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood (Psalm 40:4).
My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house (Psalm 101:6-7).
My son if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us . . . we shall fill our houses with spoil; throw in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse;” my son do not walk in the way with them, keep your feet from their path; for their feet run to evil . . . (Proverbs 1:10-16).
He who is partner with a thief hates his own life . . . (Proverbs 29:24).
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be . . . a swindler – not even to eat with such a one (1 Corinthians 5:9-11).
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
E. BY GIVING
Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need (Ephesians 4:28).
F. BY ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY
And Jacob said, “You [Laban] shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen” (Genesis 30:31-33).
V. WHAT TO WHEN HAVE ACTED DISHONESTLY
A. RESTORE OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH LORD
Now if a person sins, after he hears a public adjuration to testify, when he is a witness . . . that he shall confess that in which he has sinned. He shall also bring his guilt offering to the Lord for his sins which he has committed . . . (Leviticus 5:5-6).
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty . . . [he shall present] his guilt offering to the Lord . . . and he shall be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt” (Leviticus 6:1-5, 7).
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
B. RESTORE OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE HARMED PERSON
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion (Proverbs 28:13).
Therefore confess your sins to one another . . . (James 5:16).
C. RESTORE ANY STOLEN PROPERTY
If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep . . . He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If what he stole is actually found alive in his possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double (Exodus 22:1-4).
If a man gives his neighbor money or goods to keep for him, and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, he shall pay double. If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before the judges, to determine whether he laid his hands on his neighbor’s property. For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, “This is it,” the case of both parties shall come before the judges; he whom the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor (Exodus 22:7-9).
And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution (Exodus 22:14).
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery, or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him, or the lost thing which he found, or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full, and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering to the Lord (Leviticus 6:1-5).
. . . When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind . . . he shall make restitution in full for his wrong, and add to it one-fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged. But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution which is made for the wrong must go to the Lord for the priest (Numbers 5:5-8).
Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. And he must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this [unjustly took the poor man’s ewe] thing and had no compassion” (2 Samuel 12:5-6).
Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; but when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; he must give all the sustenance of his house (Proverbs 6:30-31).
But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die’ and he turns from his sins and practices justice and righteousness, if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery . . . he shall surely live; he shall not die (Ezekiel 33:14-16).
Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord . . . if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much” (Luke 19:8).
VI. BLESSINGS AND CURSES
A. BLESSINGS PROMISED FOR THE HONEST
1. Blessing of more intimate relationship with Lord
O Lord who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill: he who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor (Psalm 15:1-4).
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully (Psalm 24:3-4).
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
Do not let kindness and truth leave you . . . So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man (Proverbs 3:3-4).
. . . [the Lord] is intimate with the upright (Proverbs 3:32).
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight (Proverbs 12:22).
. . . Did not your father [Josiah] eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well. Is not that what is means to know Me?” declares the Lord. “But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain (Jeremiah 22:15-17).
2. Blessing of protection
He [the Lord] is a shield to those who walk in integrity . . . (Proverbs 2:7).
He who walks in integrity walks securely . . . (Proverbs 10:9).
3. Blessing of provision
He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain, and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; he will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the impregnable rock; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure (Isaiah 33:15-16).
4. Blessing on the family
A righteous man who walks in his integrity – how blessed are his sons after him (Proverbs 20:7).
5. Blessing of happiness
Ill-gotten gain brings no lasting happiness; right living does (Proverbs 10:2).
6. Blessing of life
You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you (Deuteronomy 25:13-15).
Who is the man who desires life, and loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue form evil, and your lips from speaking deceit (Psalm 34:12-13).
Truthful lips will be established forever . . . (Proverbs 12:19).
. . . if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die (Ezekiel 33:14-16).
7. Blessing of the respect of people
Do not let kindness and truth leave you . . . So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man (Proverbs 3:3-4).
8. Blessing of prosperity
Much wealth is in the house of the righteous . . . (Proverbs 15:6).
9. Blessing for leaders
A leader who . . . hates unjust gain will prolong his days (Proverbs 28:16).
B. CURSES RESERVED FOR THE DISHONEST
1. Curse of hated/separated from God
You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure . . . For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 25:13-16).
. . . the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit (Psalm 5:6).
For the crooked man is an abomination to the Lord . . . (Proverbs 3:32).
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him . . . a lying tongue . . . a false witness who utters lies . . . (Proverbs 6:16, 19).
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord . . . (Proverbs 12:22).
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will perish (Proverbs 19:9).
Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain . . . I hid My face and was angry (Isaiah 57:17).
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, so that He does not hear . . . your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity (Isaiah 59:2-4).
2. Curse of punishment/judgment
Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark . . . (Deuteronomy 27:17).
. . . the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped (Psalm 63:11).
A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a false mouth . . . his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing (Proverbs 12-15).
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape (Proverbs 19:5).
Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel (Proverbs 20:17).
Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I [the Lord] was angry and struck him . . . (Isaiah 57:17).
their [wicked men] houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich . . . ‘Shall I not punish these people?’ declares the Lord, ‘on a nation (Israel) such as this shall I not avenge Myself?’ (Jeremiah 5:27-29).
And they bend their tongue like the bow; lies and not truth prevail in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” declares the Lord . . . everyone deceives his neighbor, and does not speak the truth, they have taught their tongues to speak lies . . . their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit; with his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, but inwardly he sets an ambush for him. “Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the Lord. “On such a nation such as this shall I not avenge Myself?” (Jeremiah 9:3-9).
“Behold, then, I smite My hand at your dishonest gain which you have acquired . . . Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken and shall act. And I shall scatter you among the nations, and I shall disperse you through the lands (Ezekiel 22:13-15).
“Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order get dishonest gain . . . The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery . . . Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord God (Ezekiel 22:27-31).
The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary; on them I will pour out My wrath like water (Hosea 5:10).
Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land, saying, “When will the new moon be over, so that we may buy grain, and the sabbath that we may open the wheat market, to make bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, and to cheat with dishonest scales, so as to buy the helpless for money and the needy for a pair of sandals, and that we may sell the refuse of the wheat.” The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob, “Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds. Because of this will not the land quake and everyone who dwells in it mourn? Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile, and it will be tossed about, and subside like the Nile of Egypt. And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord God, that I shall make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight. Then I shall turn your festivals into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins and baldness on every head, and I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, and the end of it will be like a bitter day (Amos 8:4-10).
Is there yet a man in the wicked house, along with treasures of wickedness, and a short measure that is cursed? Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? For the rich men of the city are full of violence, her residents speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. So also I will make you sick striking you down, desolating you because of your sins. You will eat but you will not be satisfied, and your vileness will be in your midst. You will try to remove for safekeeping, but you will not preserve anything, and what you do preserve I will give to the sword. You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but you will not anoint yourself with oil; and the grapes, but you will not drink wine . . . I will give you up for destruction and your inhabitants for derision, and you will bear the reproach of My people” (Micah 6:10-16).
And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer;’ but you are making it a robbers’ den” (Matthew 21:12-13).
And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers’ den”
3. Curse of death/destruction
. . . they [Israel] have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived . . . the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him . . . all Israel stoned them [Achan and his family] with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones (Joshua 7:11, 15, 25).
You destroy those who speak falsehood . . . (Psalm 5:6).
You [mighty man] love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking right. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. But God will break you down forever; He will snatch you up, and tear you away from your tent, and uproot you from the land of the living (Psalm 52:3-5).
So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence, it takes away the life of its possessors (Proverbs 1:19).
A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a false mouth . . . his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing (Proverbs 6:12, 15).
. . . a lying tongue is only for a moment (Proverbs 12:19).
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death (Proverbs 21:6).
He who sows iniquity will reap vanity, and the rods of his fury will perish (Proverbs 22:8).
Do not rob the poor because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord will plead their case, and take the life of those who rob them (Proverbs 22:22-23).
But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion. Therefore thus says the Lord in regard to Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah . . . He will be buried with a donkey’s burial, dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 22:17-19).
Then he may have a violent son who . . . commits robbery . . . will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head . . . As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity” (Ezekiel 18:10-13, 18).
But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit . . . You have not lied to men, but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last . . . Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well.” And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last . . . (Acts 5:1-10).
4. Curse on the family
He who profits illicitly troubles his own house . . . (Proverbs 15:27).
Therefore I [the Lord] will give their wives to others, their fields to new owners; because from the least even to the greatest one is greedy for gain; from the prophet even to the priest every one practices deceit (Jeremiah 8:10).
Woe to those who scheme iniquity . . . They covet fields and then seize them, and houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold I am planning against this family a calamity from which you cannot remove your necks . . . (Micah 2:1-3).
5. Curse on possessions
Yet your father [Laban] has cheated me [Jacob] . . . Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me (Genesis 31:7, 9).
Ill-gotten gains do not profit . . . (Proverbs 10:2).
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles . . . (Proverbs 13:11).
And their houses shall be turned over to others, and their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord. For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely (Jeremiah 6:12-13).
As a partridge that hatches eggs which it nor laid, so is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly; in the midst of his days it will forsake him . . . (Jeremiah 17:11).
Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, for your horn I will make iron and your hoods I will make bronze, that you may pulverize many peoples, that you may devote to the Lord their unjust gain and their wealth to the Lord of all the earth (Micah 4:13).
6. Curse of pride
He who sows iniquity will reap vanity . . . (Proverbs 22:8).
7. Curse on a leader’s subordinates
If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked (Proverbs 29:12).
8. Curse in eternity
But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murders and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
And nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it [heaven], but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27).
Outside [heaven is] . . . everyone who love and practices lying (Revelation 22:15).
9. Curses in general
Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen’ (Deuteronomy 27:17).
Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel (Proverbs 20:17).
Woe to the bloody city [Nineveh], completely full of lies and pillage . . . (Nahum 3:1).
a. View of God not punishing dishonesty
Why are times not stored up by the Almighty, and why do those who know Him not see His days? Some remove the landmarks; they seize and devour flocks . . . yet God does not pay attention to folly (Job 24:1-2, 12).
VII. BRIBES (See Bribe Section)