Quickly, name something God can’t do?

Several years ago, that question was posed to me and my classmates in an undergraduate theology class at Freed-Hardeman University by Dr. David Lipe. I vaguely remember the answers we gave in class, but I’ve never forgotten the lesson from our instructor. 

He profoundly stated in a way only Dr. Lipe could muster, “Write this down. God can’t lie.”

He then pointed us to Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18, passages I had read before but obviously hadn’t appreciated. Those verses say “God cannot lie,” (Titus) and “it is impossible for God to lie,” (Hebrews). I must be honest with each of you, up to that point, I would have told you God could do anything. While lying wouldn’t have been in my thoughts, I would have clearly misspoken because I didn’t truly appreciate God’s character. I didn’t fully understand what it means to be holy and righteous. 

I want to remind you that God possesses the ability to create manna from heaven, water from a rock, and everything we see from nothing, but He can’t tell a lie. Not even a little itty-bitty, teensy-weensy, little white lie that wouldn’t hurt a fly. It’s against His very nature to be dishonest and it would invalidate all His words from the beginning of time if He suddenly decided to withhold the truth. It would prove Him to be a fraud, and that just can’t be the case.

I want to also point you to Numbers 23:19 which says, “God is not a man, that He should lie.” He is different. Unable to commit sin or even deception. And I believe we must stand in awe of that simple idea. He doesn’t possess our weaknesses or even our ability to sin. He is holy, faithful, pure and undefiled. Never assume that God can lie, be dishonest, or even become a being who distorts the truth. He won’t lie to you, me, or anyone else. When He speaks, its truth and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

That quality gives His words more meaning than mine or yours. While I possess the ability to speak the truth, He is truth (see John 14:6). The Lord’s character is above reproach. His reputation peerless. His words are spoken with grace, wisdom, and absolutely no guile. He cannot lie, and we are the beneficiaries of that. 

I’ll leave you with the words of Psalm 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver, tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”