A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Here are two of seven things and persons God hates (Pr 6:16-19). He hates liars who falsely witness against others, and He hates pests who cause division in a church. He could have said He hated lies and discord, but He said He hates the ones doing these sins.
God is holy (Is 6:3; Rev 4:8). He hates sin (Pr 8:13; Heb 1:9). He is too holy to love sin or sinners (Job 15:5; Hab 1:13). He hates sinners (Ps 5:4-6; 11:4-7; 139:21-22). In spite of effeminate objections, God hates sin and sinners. The Sunday school lie that God hates sin but loves the sinner is false. God hates sinners, and here He lists two of them.
He will tell the wicked in the last day that He never knew them – He never loved them (Matt 7:23; 13:47-50). He will tell them to get lost, and rightly so! He loves and accepts only those He made holy through Jesus Christ – His beloved elect (Eph 1:3-6; Rom 9:15).
Men bark against this holy doctrine, but let God be true! Does He love Satan, too? They do not fret about the devil, because their profane and vain babbling is pure selfish pride and love for themselves. They are too arrogant to submit to a holy and sovereign God.
The LORD said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex 20:16). God hates this sin much, so He included it in the summary list of Ten. He knew the terrible damage a wicked mouth could do to others, and how little defense there is against it, so He condemned it forcefully (Pr 19:5,9; 25:18; Ex 23:1; Zech 8:17). The Bible strongly attacks lying, false accusing, slandering, whispering, backbiting, and talebearing.
When men are tried for their lives, freedom, or fortune, it is imperative witnesses tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so our nation solemnly swears them to this duty before taking testimony or cross-examination. God required at least two witnesses in all cases to protect from false testimony (Deut 19:15); if a man testified falsely in Israel, he was punished with the very judgment at stake, no matter how horrible (Deut 19:16-21).
A lying and false accusing mouth can cause enormous harm, for rape of reputation and character is surely worse than that of the body (Ps 35:11-12). Physical violence is horrible, but allows for some defense and recovery; verbal slander and false accusations are worse, and there is very little defense with long lasting damage.
Readers beloved of God, it is your duty to be men and women of truth and principle (Ex 18:21). Carefully consider your thoughts, words, and intent before saying anything about others. Let your lips praise others rather than detract from them, and if you ever must testify regarding another, be scrupulously faithful and honest with every word (Pr 14:5).
God also loves unity, especially among His people (Ps 133:1-3; I Cor 1:10; Eph 4:3-4). He hates those who openly or subtly disturb fellowship and peace (Pr 6:12-15; 16:28; 26:20; Rom 16:17-18). He condemns variance, debate, envy, implacability, emulations, evil surmising, strife, sedition, tumults, and whispering. Instead He commands and commends peace (Matt 5:9; II Cor 13:11; Phil 3:16; Col 3:15; Jas 3:17-18).
A chord is harmonious blending of coordinated notes; accord is agreement and harmony; and concord is the state of peace and agreement between parties. All three words are related, meaning agreement, harmony, and peace. But discord is an antonym, meaning absence of concord or harmony. It is disagreement, variance, dissension, and strife. Is your church as harmonious as it should be? Do you labor to make all notes blend?
Wicked persons sow discord when they disrupt the harmony, agreement, unity, and peace of a church or other society by spreading the poison of division and enmity. They alienate the affections of men and stir up their passions against one another. They foment strife, contention, jealousies, and confusion by talebearing, insinuations, foolish questions, seditious doubts, forming of cliques, and other perverse means. These separatists are sensual enemies of true saints, and they have not the Spirit (Jude 1:19).
Beloved reader, let us be the peacemakers our Saviour blessed (Matt 5:9). Take every opportunity to promote unity and agreement; work hard to keep yourself and others in harmony with the congregation. Let us seek peace and pursue it (I Pet 3:11). Make the holy endeavour of peace and reconciliation a priority in your life (Eph 4:3; Matt 5:23-24).
Consider well our blessed Lord and His perfect conduct in light of these two sins. The Jews used false witnesses to condemn Jesus to death (Matt 26:59), but He is the faithful and true witness (Rev 3:14; 19:11). The wicked Jews divided over Jesus and stirred up the Gentiles against the apostles (John 9:16; Acts 14:2), but the Prince of Peace destroyed Jew/Gentile enmity and made both one by His cross (Is 9:6; John 11:52; Eph 2:11-22)!