In the "promised land" of new-found religious freedom, in commenting on our slowing economy and the Morrison government's response, I am moved to quote from Numbers 32:23, Moses warning to the tribes of Israel: "... be sure your sin will find you out".
This statement in the scriptures reveals the mystery of sin. The nature of sin is such that, whether or not others discover your sin, your sin will discover you. You cannot run from the consequences.
If, as a government, you have "sinned" by deliberately misrepresenting and exaggerating the state of our economy and prospects over the last couple of years, be sure the flow of data on the economic fundamentals will find you out.
While I recognise that truth has increasingly been the first casualty of our short-term politics, it's become ridiculous and nationally embarrassing that our government has persisted with its marketing slogans that "our economy is strong" and "our economic fundamentals are strong", when clearly they are not.
These slogans simply do not resonate with a majority of households struggling daily with the costs of living, flat wages, record debts, depleted savings, falling house prices, tight bank credit and increased job insecurity. They also leave businesses cold, especially when they are actually so unsure of the future and the likely government responses, and the banks have tightened lending following the Banking Royal Commission.
It's become ridiculous and embarrassing that our government has persisted with its marketing slogans that "our economy is strong" and "our economic fundamentals are strong", when clearly they are not.
However, not only has the government deliberately sought to mislead, but its response to the slowing growth numbers serves only to compound its original sin.
As it became clearer earlier this week that numbers to be released on Wednesday would reveal the lowest annual rate of growth (1.4 per cent) since the GFC, the government first sought to soften expectations by admitting that growth would be shown to have slowed.
It blamed global headwinds, then claimed that growth would improve as the effects of its tax cuts, and lower interest rates, flowed through in the latter half of this year.
However, at the same time, the government simultaneously claimed credit for the first surplus on our balance of international payments since 1975, pointing in particular to an export boom. So, our exports boomed despite the global headwinds, and while net exports contributed some 0.6 per cent to growth in the June quarter, only half of the contribution came from exports.
The other half came from a collapse in imports, consistent with our weakening domestic economy.
The government tried to have it both ways, but the duplicity of its statements only compounded the original sin.
As to likely future growth, which the government argues will soon recover, it's possible that the tax and interest rate cuts may not boost consumer spending as much as it hopes.
Indeed, this week also saw the release of retail sales data which showed a 0.1 per cent fall in July, despite some $3 billion being pumped into the economy via the personal tax cuts. New car sales were also down by more than 10 per cent compared with last year.
The Reserve Bank has also admitted that the interest rate cuts may not stimulate as much as being claimed. With their finances so tight and unpredictable, it is possible that households will use any extra cash to reduce their debts.
The government also remains obsessed with achieving a budget surplus this financial year, promising to remain in surplus for at least a decade.
While the books can be managed to achieve a surplus this year, it's unlikely to be sustained as promised as some very big, unfunded, expenditure commitments run through into the 2020s in health, education, the NDIS, defence and infrastructure, and the legislated tax cuts may prove unaffordable - especially if the global economy does drift into a recession.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would have us believe that our economy is resilient, and its performance repudiates the government's critics and those who have "sought to talk our economy down".
But his "sins" will find him out.
John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.