Or have found that which was lost, and lies concerning it, and swears falsely; in any of all these that a man does, sinning therein:
It is contemplated by the Supreme Legislator, that if a man once cherish a dishonest thought, he will probably go beyond fraud to falsehood ("and lieth"), and, when necessary, from falsehood to perjury ("and sweareth falsely"). This is true to life. Sin is not only the consequence of the evil that came before it, but it is the cause of more sin which is to follow; it is not only the child but the parent of wrong. Learn that -
I. NO MAN WHO SINS CAN TELL HOW FAR HIS SIN WILL TAKE HIM. Hazael, Gehazi, Ahab, Judas, etc.; "facilis descensus Averni."
II. IT IS IN THE NATURE OF SIN TO TEMPT TO FURTHER SIN. The instances with which we are familiar are not remarkable exceptions; they are illustrations of a principle at work everywhere and always. "There's not a crime but takes its change out still in crime, when once rung on the counter of this world;" dishonesty naturally, if not necessarily, leads to lying, and lying to perjury. One sin is the germ of another, and is sure to bear fruit.
III. IT IS A PART OF THE PENALTY OF SIN THAT IT SHOULD DO SO. We sometimes think that sin carries no penalty; so it seemed to the Psalmist (Psalm 73), but he was wrong, as he owned (verse 15). It not only ends disastrously ("then understood I their end"), but it results in certain, immediate, spiritual injury. On the day in which the forbidden fruit is eaten, we do die, - in the soul.
IV. THIS FACT OF THE DIFFUSIVENESS OF SIN HELPS TO EXPLAIN THE EXCEEDING EVIL OF IT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. It may well be accounted "an evil and bitter thing," a thing which he "hates," which he "abhors," etc. These considerations furnish
(1) a very strong reason for repentance, etc; and
(2) an equally strong inducement for the cultivation of holiness in the heart and life of the good. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: