How would you answer this: Is it all right for a husband to lie to his wife to protect her? Or should he tell her how bad things really are? Is honesty always the best policy? What would you say?
In the ninth chapter of Joshua the writer tells how the Gibeonites made a covenant with Joshua and the Israelites, and one of the provisions of the covenant or treaty was that Israel would not go to war against them. This was well and good, but when the king of Jerusalem heard about it, he was not very happy. So Adonizedek, the king of Jerusalem, rounded up four kings from the neighboring city states, and decided to do battle with the Israelites in the Valley of Gibeon. The five kings and their armies did not fare very well, for the Lord was on Joshua’s side. You have to have a pretty long arm to fight God, and the kings decided it was safer to run than fight. Here is the record: “And it was told Joshua, saying, ‘The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them; And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies….’” Joshua 10:17 19). Later, Joshua brought them out of the cave and made them a visual exhibition to the people by putting his foot on the neck of each and saying, “This is what God is going to do to the rest of our enemies.” Then he proceeded to kill them.
Five kings in a cave. If allegorizing a passage of Scripture bothers you, then understand it’s acceptable on occasion. I cannot resist the temptation to draw some parallels to five enemies of the home today and deal with them as Joshua did his enemies. I am convinced that five attitudes or behavior traits are enemies to happiness in our homes. Five kings in the cave of your thinking one, dishonesty; two, discourtesy; three, deceit; four, disbelief; and five, discouragement.
Let’s start with that first one dishonesty. “How is business?” your competitor asks; and you, not wanting him to know how bad it really is, smile and say, “Oh, very good!” Dishonesty may be masked in an attempt to save face to keep our heads high. Do not let anybody know how it really is! And so we come home and try to maintain the same facade.
Dishonesty is a real enemy, and one that has no place in the relationship of a Christian couple. Nothing does more to destroy the very fabric of a marriage than the knowledge that you cannot trust your husband or wife to tell the truth. “Oh, I’ll be late for dinner tonight,” a husband tells his wife, “I’ve got to get out a report at work and I’ll be coming home as soon as I can.” Does he mean it? Or rather is he using that as a cloak of deception to do something that he would prefer not having his wife know? The book of Revelation says bluntly, “… all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 21:8). But counseling and working with couples for almost 40 years leads me to conclude that husbands who practice dishonesty will feel the heat a lot sooner than that which is described in the book of Revelation.
There is a better way! And that is the way of Him who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). If you’re bothered by this monster called dishonesty, then, like Joshua did to the five kings at Makkedah, escort him out, put your foot on his neck, and cut his head off. Be done with it once and for all. And once you have made that decision, follow through, so that you are as completely honest as you know how in all of your dealings. “To him who knows to do good,” says Scripture, “and does it not, to him it is sin.” And again, consider Paul’s words to the Colossians, “Don’t lie one to another since you have put aside that old self with its evil practice.”
Resource Reading: Joshua 10:1-15
Text: But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. Revelation 21:8
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – January 23, 2017