- Lev. 21:1-24; 22:1-16; 25:1-7
- Ex. 23:10-11; 25:8-55
GOD gave the Israelites instructions regarding the land they were to possess. Every seventh year the Israelites were to allow the land to lie desolate—that is, to not farm it. As long as they obeyed GOD He would bless them with three years-worth of produce every sixth year so they had plenty to eat during the seventh year of rest.
Additionally, every fiftieth year was to be a year of jubilee. During Jubilee additional provisions were made including the freeing of slaves and land would be returned to the original Israelite family owner. As GOD was giving instructions about the purchase of property, He said:
Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God.
(Lev. 25:17 NKJV)
GOD was concerned that the Israelites treated one another fairly and with respect. He recognized that some would be rich and others would be poor, but GOD insisted that their dealings with one another be fair. King Solomon would later say:
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
(Prov. 11:1-3 NKJV)
Honest weights and scales are the LORD’s; all the weights in the bag are His work.
(Prov. 16:11 NKJV)
In life we each will face situations where we have the opportunity to choose whether to be honest and truthful, or whether to be dishonest and deceitful. The path we consistently choose in these situations determines our character—an honest person or a liar. Let’s consider two examples:
- Johnny decided to sell his car. Two years ago someone backed into Johnny’s car while he was parked at a store. Susan is interested in buying Johnny’s car, and she asks Johnny, "Has this car been in a wreck before?" Johnny thinks, "Well, it technically hasn’t been in a wreck because no one was driving my car when it was hit." What should Johnny do?
- A 14-year-old girl named Lisa wants to go to the movie with her friend Janice. They want to go see a movie that they know includes bad language and people dressed immodestly. Janice tells Lisa to ask her mom if she can go see a different movie and, once Lisa’s mom agrees, they can sneak into the movie they really want to see. What should Lisa do? Now, suppose Lisa’s mom asks what movie they were going to see and, before Lisa could speak, Janice lies to Lisa’s mom in front of Lisa. What should Lisa do then?
Integrity is a key component of a Christian’s character. Don’t take advantage of one another. Tell the truth.