Read: Exodus 23:1-9
Do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd. (v. 2 NIV)
In the movie Twelve Angry Men, a jury stands ready to condemn a boy to death. He has been accused of killing his father. Of the twelve men on the jury, eleven are convinced he is guilty, and only one man stands in their way. This twelfth man isn’t convinced that the boy is blameless; he just isn’t sure he’s guilty, and he doesn’t want to put an innocent boy to death by their negligence.
In the face of eleven other people, it would be easy to cave in to the will of the crowd. But this man is guided by a dogged quest for the truth. By submitting himself to this quest, he actually possesses a radical freedom that none of the other men have. Instead of settling for an easy false testimony, he is willing to wait patiently for the truth.
The ninth commandment is against bearing false witness, but it is about more than just refraining from lying. It also carries a positive implied imperative to stand for the truth. It is so easy to fall into groupthink, to follow the crowd rather than committing oneself to the truth. But paradoxically, binding ourselves to the truth actually frees us to stand for the truth, even in the face of massive outside pressure. What are some ways that you are tempted to side with the crowd, rather than waiting on God’s truth? —Steven Rodriguez
Prayer: Lord, please set me free to stand for the truth.