If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.
Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
Reflection: The Commission of Truth
By John Tillman
The first verse in Leviticus chapter five, identifies a unique kind of sin—the sin of not testifying to the truth when it is called for.
The implication in the text is a legal one. When authorities were investigating an event, they would call for those who had knowledge of the event to come forward with information. Those who neglect this duty are partly responsible for the crime because they are not standing up for the truth.
We are called to be a testifying people, testifying not only to the truth of the gospel, but to the truth about our workplaces, our houses of worship, our houses of government, and our schools.
When leaders or organizations are under investigation, or are being accused of wrongdoing, it is common for other similar stories to come to light.
But the tendency in our culture is to only support truth-tellers when they are telling a truth that is comfortable for us to hear. We defend quickly those who accuse our political enemies of wrongdoing, but are suspicious of those accusing people or institutions we support.
What if instead of considering those voices as opportunistic attention seekers, we saw them as people answering the biblical call of Leviticus 5.1 to testify?
In response to investigations of political and religious wrongdoing, Ed Stetzer has often spoken to the Christian community reminding us that, “Facts are our friends.” He is correct, but facts are more than our friends—they are our responsibility. And not only are facts our responsibility, truth is our identity.
As children of God, and followers of Jesus who called himself, “the Truth,” we are acting according to our nature and our calling when we help facts come to light and when we stand up for truth and for truth-tellers.
Whenever the call for truth goes out, may we join Jesus in answering it.
Whenever the light of truth shines, may we never join in trying to cover up or deny what is revealed.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12.2-3
*Tomorrow we will look at how this command relates to scripture’s realistic expectation of false accusations.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living. — Psalm 116.8
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Leviticus 5 (Listen – 3:35)
Psalm 3-4 (Listen – 1:56)
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