“These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates ;
And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ saith the Lord .” Zechariah 8:16, 17
In these two verses, there are four things the Lord wants us to do. Obviously it would be wise for us to take heed and make sure we are doing or not doing the things God says so that we are in alignment with His Word.
The first thing mentioned is “speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor”. This simple principle appears to be so obvious the Lord should not need to bring it up, but we all know that when it comes to “speaking the truth in love”, it is much easier said than done. Speaking truth means NOT speaking lies, twisting the truth for selfish gain and not using a little truth to mask evil intent.
So many problems in this life could be avoided if people simply spoke the truth to each other. Can you imagine how civil political campaigns would be if the candidates simply spoke the truth? Can you imagine how civil court proceedings would be if everyone involved really did speak the truth and nothing but the truth?
The second thing mentioned is to “execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates”. Simply put, this is an exhortation to render verdicts of truth in the courts that are righteous and just and lead to peace. When judgments are based on the truth and verdicts are based on righteousness, the outcome will lead to peace.
The third thing mentioned is for no one to “imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor”. This reminds me of what Jesus said when he spoke of there being no difference between thinking about doing evil to someone and doing it. The battleground is in the mind and the exhortation throughout the Word of God is to control our thinking so as to not open the door that leads to doing evil.
If Eve would have refused to consider the enticing words of the serpent, she could have resisted the temptation to sin. If Cain would have refused to yield to envious thoughts, he would have never killed his brother. If David would have refused to look at the bathing Bathsheba, he could have subdued his earthly lusts etc.
The final thing mentioned is to “love no false oath”. Some people actually love telling lies they think are the truth. People can, and do talk themselves into believing the truth is the lie and the lie is the truth. This state of corruption leads to wickedness in every realm. Very simply put, we should strive to so love the truth that we refuse to consider hurting or deceiving each other. By putting away the lie, we are able to speak truth with each other and manifest the love of Christ to each other.