LET GOD BE TRUE, & EVERY HUMAN A LIAR: A message to encourage & strengthen the faithful. Years ago, when I pledged myself to obey God without reservation, this verse was very heartening in the midst of widespread churchgoer apathy, apostasy & disreputable hypocrisy. Wow! The power & depth of one verse! It has several levels of application to a range of issues. It teaches that those who accuse God’s words to be mere lies, will themselves be found to be liars. Also, like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, our clergy has fiddled around while the churches & believers are being destroyed. The calling of God, even on sincere men, gets corrupted. Let God be true, even though every clergyman should turn out a liar.
ROMANS 3: 3-4>> What advantage then has the Jew?…Considerable in every respect, the most important advantage, at the outset the oracles (Logia) of God (Words of YHWH) were entrusted to them. For what if some did not believe? Will their unfaithfulness cancel God’s fidelity—make null & void God’s faithfulness? No way! Banish the thought! Let God be true & every human a liar. As it is written: ‘That thou might be justified in thy sayings and might overcome when thou art judged.’ You God will prevail when tried by mankind.
Paul in his inspired, rich, & profound letter to the church at Rome brings up a problem we face today….a question many have asked….If God is so faithful, why don’t His people show it? Why aren’t they any different than everyone else? God’s chosen people for much of their history acted like the pagans around them, and they neglected the Torah (God’s Teachings) and then rejected His prophesied Messiah. At different points in history (like Josiah’s time, & Nehemiah’s time) Israel was amazed to find a single copy of the Torah! In Acts 7, Stephen preached on how the Jews had a history of rejecting God & resisting His Holy Spirit. Will man’s unfaithfulness render inoperative God’s faithfulness?? What Paul applies to physical Israel also is applicable to spiritual Israel, which is this: Man’s fickleness will not destroy God’s constancy. God will not quit caring if man could care less. Man cannot destroy the Words of God. The failures of God’s people will never frustrate His purposes. Man’s failure does not mean God failed. All the lying, the hypocrisy and ignorance of God’s people cannot invalidate His promises and destroy His truthfulness. God’s truth is independent of man. God’s Word has not failed. No. We must let God be true, and count all men as liars. “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself.”(A)
FOR ALL HAVE SINNED. Paul goes on to discuss 14 horrible effects of sin on humanity incl. these 5: none are righteous (all have failed in something), none understand (all are willfully ignorant), none seek after God (they all seek their own), all have turned their backs on truth & gone their own way, and all are unprofitable because they dishonor rather than glorify their Creator. (How well those of us who try to share the truth know these things!) He goes on to describe humans as not knowing the way of peace, but quick to shed blood, using their tongues for deceit, and their mouths to curse & complain. This echoes previous Scripture like PS 14:1, “There is none that doeth good.” In fact, speaking of Bible quotes, verse 4 is in fact quotes from PS 116:11 & PS 51:4. An example of how a man can be faithless is taken from the life of King David, who was considered a great man of God. It was at PS 116 that David says, “I said in my alarm, all men are liars.”
PS 116:11. When David was a king he sinned against Uriah by taking his wife & life. He stole Bathsheba’s honor. He brought defeat in war to Israel by his sin. And because he was a man of war, he was denied building God’s sacred temple. Yet, David, after God sent the prophet Nathan (B), has his conscience awaken, & comprehends, “Against Thee (God), Thee only, have I sinned…” He knew, “God is right, I am wrong.” David realized he’d failed, not God. Quite an achievement for a king, who tend to be especially tyrannically egotistical.(C) David’s confession is a victory. David was able to say, “Thou did teach me wisdom.” “I was brought low, and He helped me.”(D) And he notes under inspiration, “All men are liars.” The more faithful we are, the better we can see the fidelity of God. Inside of men is unbelief, which is their inner reality. This is expressed externally as unrighteousness. So we need to bear in mind that the “unbelief” mentioned above is the inner reality of unrighteousness. And the unbeliever is a liar.(E)
PS 51:4 “As it is written: ‘That thou might be justified in thy sayings and might overcome when thou art judged.” This quote of David’s prayer also speaks volumes. God will win the verdict when the world goes on trial. His words match reality. Men question & judge God. They accuse Him. They impeach His Word as lies. Men would be wiser to impute unfaithfulness to themselves before they apply it to God. But when it is all said and done and the words of men are compared to God…God will be found true, and men liars. He is TRUTH. As we sing, “Great is thy faithfulness.” It is not unfair for God to bring retribution on man as He laid before them blessings or curses in DT. In PS 94:11, we read that the Lord knows the thoughts of men, that they are vanity. They try to create subtle mazes of complex sophistry to seem intelligent beyond reproach. Their philosophy & metaphysical speculations dazzle the simple. The Truth is still the truth, even if everyone rejects it.
STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF GOD. Meanwhile, history has repeatedly validated God honoring His promises. His promised Messiah came as prophesied. The great apostasy & tribulation will arrive. He promises His faithful a glorious future. We can count on His promises!: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”(F) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”(G) “Those that seek me early shall find me.” (H) “The Lord will give strength unto his people…” (I) Historically, these and many other promises have been honored by a faithful & righteous, loving Creator God. Historically, when God needed inheritors for His promises, He faithfully through His divine streams of grace created people worthy to receive His blessings. And don’t we love the promise of 2 CHRON 7:14. God will faithfully save His people. When everyone seems stuck on stupid, when everyone is in love with the lie, just remember, “Let God be true, & let all people be liars.”
(A) 2 TIM 2:13 (B) 2 SAM 12:7, 11 (C) cf. ROM 1:18 (D) PS 116:6 (E) JN 5:10 (F) JN 8:32 (G) ROM 8:28 (H) PRV 8:17 (I) PS 29:11