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" Keeping my Word "
    "I, Jehovah, have spoken it; it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not hold back, nor will I spare, nor will I have compassion; according to your ways and according to your deeds they will judge you, declares the Lord Jehovah." (Ezk24:14)
As this is being written in mid-September, this season's TV series of "Big Brother" has just concluded. As a people watcher, and an observer of human nature, this is a program I have watched over the years: observing people's strategies, their public promises and alliances compared to what they reveal of 'truth' in the "diary room". Verbal promises, handshakes, fist bumps and pinky promises to people's faces; but in the diary room the strategy how they are "using" the various people to their own hoped advantage, revealing how although they made promises to one group of people, in truth they are hoping to 'backdoor' them, in hopes that others will remain in the house, and further their own personal advantage. And as people talk and strategize amongst each other, one person will hear that so-n-so said such-n-such to somebody, which contradicts what that person said to them, they storm off to -confront- the person: Did you say this? You told me that! What's the deal, you LIAR!? Some of these confrontations get quite heated, a lot of 'bleeps' for TV, as they also get in each other's faces. Meanwhile, they have their own strategies going on with their own lies.
    "Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judges, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." (Rom2:1) You who says, Do not lie, are you the biggest liar of the bunch? (e.g. vs21-22)
One of the biggest liars this year was also a Bible reader. But he was so much of a creep that he got evicted before his Biblical hypocrisy could ever get confronted by the rest. But there was one, a 24 year old pretending to be only 18, who lied right and left at every turn. She was regularly in people's faces for this, that and the other thing; like a little pitbull. At one point, as half the "guests" had been eliminated, and now it was time to get down and do some -serious- 'strategizing', she made a suggestion to her closest ally, which turned out to be a defining moment and turning point for the game, the way events were seeming to be progressing. She suggested that they "plant a lie" in the ears of a couple of the players, that another player had allegedly said about them. So the people went to confront the person who had allegedly lied, and of course, since they had not said what they were accused of, they rightfully denied it. But the seeds of doubt had been planted. And the ones investigating failed to think of confronting the ones who had actually created/devised the lie (Strategic error!), as they were sitting quietly, observing, careful not to draw attention to themselves. And so the alleged accuser got evicted, as well as the one falsely accused. But the two liars made it to the "final three". The girl who won the grand prize was probably one of the most honest of the entire household. But sitting next to her as the "final two" was the 18/24 year old consummate liar.

But throughout the game, whenever the liar would win a competition, she would excitedly scream at the top of her lungs, jumping up and down, running around, "I won! I won! And I did it by KEEPING MY WORD!"

She proclaimed on several occasions, "I KEPT MY WORD!"

But on Final Episode, the "jury" (who voted to pick the final winner) were smirking and shaking their heads as they would be shown videos of her proclaiming, "I kept my word!", knowing her for what she was. Then, the program replayed the episode for the rest of the contestants to see, of the two strategizing to create that game-turning lie. They were found out. When the host, Julie Chen, asked her about that, she just smiled back; no comment. Not even any pretend sheepishness. Apparently no conscience.

    "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Rom3:18, Ps36:1)
Somewhat like...
    "This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no wickedness." (Pr30:20)
Who is the "father" of lies?
    "You are of the devil as your father, and the lusts of your father you purpose to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, for he is a liar and the father of it." (Jn8:44)
There was an occasion where God used satan's scheming to send Ahab to battle to his death. The demons made suggestions to God as to "how" to accomplish Ahab's death....
    "So [the spirit] said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, You shall seduce him and also succeed; go out and do so." (2Ch18:21)
Was God -being- a liar, in sending the demon to do the dirty work? He rewards according to the nature of the person being adjudged.
    "Therefore Jehovah has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness before His eyes. With the faithful You show Yourself kind; with a mighty man of integrity You show Yourself upright; with the pure You show Yourself pure; and with the PERVERSE You -show- Yourself TWISTED." (2Sa22:25-27)
On the other hand, Jesus -is- "Truth". (Jn14:6) And those who lay claim to the Name of Christ are also characterized by truth...
    "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that not any lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies, saying that Jesus is not the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son." (1Jn2:21-22)
Also, God's Word is truth...
    "Sanctify them in Your Truth. Your Word is Truth." (Jn17:17)
If you see somebody who claims to be a Christian, but at every turn their mouth spews forth lies, you know they are NOT a True Believer. Believers tell the truth, and keep promises. It is in their (new) nature to do so; their nature "in Christ". (2Co5:17)
    "When you vow a vow to God, do not hesitate to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you have vowed. It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. Do not permit your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?" (Ec5:4-6)
On the other hand...
    "Thus says Jehovah, Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart departs from Jehovah." (Jer17:5)

    "Make no friendship with an angry man; and do not go with a man of fury, lest you learn his ways and get a snare to your soul. Be not one of those who strike hands, of those who are sureties for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?" (Pr22:24-27)

    "My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, Walk with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause, let us swallow them up alive as Sheol, and whole, as those who go down into the Pit, we shall find all sorts of precious stuff, we shall fill our houses with plunder; cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse. My son, do not walk in the way with them! Withhold your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed blood." (Pr1:10-16)

I have sometimes wondered what I would do if I found myself in such a game. What happens if you make one promise, and then find that person with whom you allied yourself is breaking other deals...and so the need is there to break your word with them, due to their actions.
    "O Jehovah, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart... he HAS SWORN TO HIS HURT, AND DOES NOT CHANGE IT;" (Ps15:1-2,4b)
It's better to not make a promise if there is the potential that circumstances will turn out in a bad direction. It's like the conniving loved one who insists, "Promise me..." and they want to elicit the promise before expressing -what- the request is that they want kept. But since it is a loved one, and they badger and pressure, the person is made to feel like a heel, caves and makes the promise: Promise me. What is it? Promise. What? No, you gotta promise first. Oh, OK. Then, the request is made, and it turns out to be utterly odious. But they whine... "You promised!"

There was an occasion where Bathsheba did this to Solomon. She starts out, I have "one small petition of you; do not turn away my face" (1Ki2:20) So Solomon promises her. Then Bathsheba makes the request, relayed from Adonijah; it was actually Adonijah's request. Solomon realizes what has just been done, knows Adonijah's heart and his past treason, and has him executed. Perhaps this incident contributed to his wisdom...?

    "Turn away from you the crooked mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and let your eyelids look straight before you." (Pr4:24-25)
After all, Solomon's birth came about after his mother had lured David into adultery. The first baby died in judgment. Then Solomon was born. A woman who lures a man, is also dishonest in other things. Perhaps some of Solomon's wisdom (in the Proverbs) about the "strange woman" came from his understanding of his own mother?

If the person will not be straight forward when soliciting the promise to just come RIGHT OUT and ask the request, they cannot be trusted. They -know- their request or plot is evil, and that you will probably reject it. But if they can coerce you to make the promise, then they think they GOTCHA! If you are a good person, you will not go back on your word; and so they have just contrived to get you to participate in their evil with them.

Don't fall for it! The reason they do so is because they know that...

    "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird." (Pr1:17)
But the end result is...
    "...they lie in wait for their own blood; they lurk secretly for their own souls." (vs18)
Earlier we quoted, "Do not be of those who strike hands". You know the type. They walk up and immediately stick out their hand for a handshake. I've even had it happen where the person periodically wants to shake hands multiple times throughout a conversation. For sure, they will find out your name and repeat it over and over throughout the conversation. When they do it, I often think to myself ('never yet been bold enough to actually -say- it to them), "Yeah, that's my name...don't wear it out!" Some do this in e-mails, too. And yes, when the person is charging at me with outstretched hand, and I've already gotten a 'read' on them, I will often stiffly stand with my hands at my side. Often, there is a funny look from them. They are startled. They are the consummate salesperson who is adept at manipulating people....but here they ran into a brick wall (Jer15:20) who is standing there staring back at them: OK, what do you want? (Yeah... I know, I know... I'm so terribly judgmental and unloving!) Don't give me your run-around. Just give it to me straight. Your handshake isn't going to suddenly make us 'friends'. If we agree, we agree. If we don't, we won't, and the handshake will not change the lie into truth.
    "He who speaks flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail." (Pr17:5)

    "Now I exhort you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and snares, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by SMOOTH WORDS AND FLATTERING SPEECH DECEIVE THE HEARTS OF THE SIMPLE." (Rom16:17-18)

Today's apostasy is characterized by liars and lying. Recently a congressman called out to the president, "You lie!" Instead of standing up and joining him, those who know truth chided him to apologize. False doctrine, by definition, is a LIE. God's Word is Truth. (Jn17:17) When those alleging to be Bible teachers allow strange doctrines to be introduced in Bible studies, without correcting the error (2Ti2:25), they are not being true to God's call upon them to uphold God's Word. When they promised to teach the Word, they are breaking their promise. They are NOT 'keeping their word'. That's why today's apostasy exists!
    "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, through whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will EXPLOIT YOU with WELL-TURNED WORDS; whose judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction does not slumber." (2Pt2:1-3)
For the Believer into Jesus Christ -honesty- should be the person's #1 moral trait in this world. To "keep our word". But it is tough to keep -our- word if we aren't first, and foremost, keeping God's Word.
    "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept Your Word. You are good, and do good; teach me Your Statutes. The proud have forged a lie against me, but I will keep Your Precepts with my whole heart."

    "I will delight myself in Your Statutes; I will not forget Your Word." (Ps119:67-69,16)

God keeps His Word. He promises... and accomplishes what He promises.
    "Remember this, and be a man; refresh the memory of your heart, you who rebel. Remember the former things from a long time ago; for I am the Mighty God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one else is like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from antiquity things which are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes my counsel from a distant land. Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have formed it; I will also do it." (Is46:8-11)
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