Truth and Honesty; January 17, 2019

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

It’s interesting when technology starts catching up to the Bible, so to speak. Much has been made of the “mark of the beast,” mentioned in various places from Revelation 13:16 on. That is now entirely possible, and is even being done in some places in electronic form, where an embedded chip enables people to pay for things simply by waving their hand over a scanner. The technology itself is neutral, but it is all too easy to see how it could be used for total control of the lives of individuals or even entire populations. In this verse, the idea of every detail of our lives being recorded is already coming shockingly close to reality, with Google, Facebook and the like knowing so much about us. That freaks some people out, and such human-run corporations are hardly to be trusted, but we forget that God has always been omniscient; we just never had an emotional grasp before of what that looks like. We are constantly trying to hide things from others, and even from God, but this verse is a reminder of the foolishness and futility of doing so. We need to remember that it is the devil who is the liar, (John 8:44) and God is always true. (Romans 3:4) Anyone who genuinely fears God – and that is the very definition of wisdom (Job 28:28) – is going to be honest and open, because we are called to be like God.

This is an issue in every culture, and certainly so in Japan. With a strong predisposition to population density, even when land is available to spread out in, there is a concurrent fixation with “personal space” on an emotional level. It can be shocking how little people know about even their close neighbors, and that is by choice from both sides. My father was led to a personal principle of absolute honesty shortly after he arrived in Japan as a missionary in 1934, and he raised his children on that principle. That made us very different from those around us, and it had nothing to do with our complexion or the color of our eyes. I remember being expected to tell lies in various situations, and have even lost friends over my refusal to do so. It can make for awkward situations, but it’s nice not having to remember what I’ve said to whom! Jesus’ statements about coming to the light in John 3:19-21 come to mind. I am not to go around accusing people of lying, even when I am sure they are being less than truthful, but I am always to speak the truth in love, letting God sort it all out. I am to take comfort in the assurance that nothing escapes His attention, and every lie will be exposed and condemned.

Father, it is very troubling when I see and hear Your children not walking in truth, not from a doctrinal standpoint but in their daily lives. I pray Your grace and mercy for them, that they would have a revelation not only of Your omniscience but also of the nature and character of the devil, so that they may commit themselves to truth, for their liberation (John 8:32) and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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