Since the dawn of time man has proclaimed lame excuses for his downfalls and sin against God. Adam blamed the woman God had given him for causing him to sin by eating the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent for tricking her into being the first to partake of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-13). Moses’ brother, Aaron, blamed the fire for producing the golden calf idol when Moses’ return from Mt. Sinai seemed to be delayed (Exodus 32:1-24). Even King Saul had his share of lame excuses in attempting to blame others for his disobedience.
As King Saul’s patience waned in waiting for Samuel’s arrival in Gilgal, Saul went ahead and took it upon himself to offer the burnt offering for God’s blessing and protection before going into battle against the Philistines, something only a priest could do. Upon Samuel’s arrival as the giving of the offering concluded, Samuel asked Saul, “What hast thou done?” Saul’s defense in disobeying God’s explicit command clearly given in His Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai were numerous: 1) The people were scattered from me; 2) You didn’t come at the appointed time; 3) the Philistines are gathering against me; and, the lamest of all, 4) “I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-12)
Saul’s lame excuse concerning the burnt offering did not prove to be his last, for on the occasion of battling the Amalekites for which he was commanded to destroy both life and property for their coming against the Children of Israel in the wilderness, Saul returned from battle with “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good.” He had also spared the life of their king, Agag, whom he had taken as prisoner. Saul’s lame excuse to Samuel this time was “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.” It is then Samuel replied, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.”
For Saul’s lame excuses and continuing disobedience, God’s judgment was rendered against him. Samuel’s pronouncement from God against Saul was “Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” It was then Samuel was sent to the sons of Jesse to anoint David the next king of Israel. (I Samuel 15; 16:1-16)
In Exodus 20 of the Holy Scriptures is listed what is referred to as “The Ten Commandments.” These commandments given to Moses from God on Mt. Sinai include, “Thou shalt not kill;” “Thou shalt not steal;” “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” The list of commandments does not end with the ten most familiar commandments of the chapter, but continue on throughout the rest of the Book of Exodus, the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, containing over 600 laws in all given by God to be obeyed.
As The LORD continued giving Moses in detail HIS LAW that was to be followed in addition to the Ten Commandments, in the very first verse of Exodus 23 is written, “Thou shalt not raise a false report.” A true witness among the people is what must be maintained to have a civil society for mankind to live in peace and experience the blessings of God. The verse goes on to say, “Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” It is Satan who is the father of lies and false reports, and those who follow him do his bidding (John 8:44). The Apostle Paul wrote of those who are deceitful, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips,” (Romans 3:13).
Just a few verses following the command, “Thou shalt not raise a false report,” God admonished Moses in the giving of His Law that the people were to “Keep thee far from a false matter,” (Exodus 23:7). Whenever and wherever a falsehood rears its ugly head, God commands man to distance himself from it and not to become a part of it. It is Satan’s desire to deceive the people through falsehoods; it is God’s desire to bring eternal salvation and right living to the people through the TRUTH of His Word (John 17:17).
There are those who say God created the world and all that is within it but stepped away and allows the world to function on its own without His guidance. Moses had led the Children of Israel in their exodus from Egypt across the Red Sea on dry ground and encamped them at the foot of Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula. It was the LORD who gave instruction to Moses how the Children of Israel were to prepare themselves spiritually and physically against the day of His visitation when He appeared to them “in a fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” It was then God called Moses to come up to the top of the mountain to be with Him and commune with Him (Exodus 19).
Most know of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses while he was on the mountain, but so much more was going on that reveal God is very much involved in the details of our lives. As Moses spent those 40 days on the mountain, the Children of Israel began wondering where their leader was and even if he was still alive. The people grew impatient in their waiting. It was then they urged Aaron to make them a golden calf to worship and be their god (Exodus 32).
Moses was very busy up on Mt. Sinai during those days, as God was not only giving him the Law, but He was also instructing Moses on how to build the Tabernacle, its dimensions and materials to be used, how it was to be constructed down to the wooden pegs and sockets; those who would be the priests in the Tabernacle and how their garments were to be made, including the duties they would perform and in what order; the sacrifices that would be offered and how they were to be offered; specific instructions for the set-up and take-down of the Tabernacle as they wandered in the wilderness, moving from place to place; the making of the furniture and utensils overlaid with gold that would be in the Tabernacle, including the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, what would be placed in it and where it would sit behind the vail in the Holy of Holies; who Moses was to appoint “to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work all manner of workmanship” that was needed to complete the Tabernacle as God had laid out and begin the sacrifices needed for forgiveness of sin (Exodus 20-31).
Those who take time to read the Scriptures for themselves find throughout its entirety how much God is involved in the intricacies of each life. A greater trust in Him develops as His Word is revealed to each heart and mind.
HE is the Potter; we are the clay.
HE is the Vine; we are the branches.
HE is the Creator; we are His creation.