The Deception of Others is Rooted in The Deception of Ourselves!
As I journey through the bible, one particular day of study I read three areas that spoke pointedly to deception; I had to consider the importance of this subject for me! The first thing I read, that morning, was 1 Kings 14:1-9 (I strive to read 3 chapters in the old testament, one in new and one psalm or poetic book chapter.)
King Jeroboam had a son who was very sick. He said to his wife, “Go to the prophet, Ahijah and find out what will happen to our son!” The prophet was old and ‘could not see for his eyes were glazed by reason of his age.’ (Sounds like glaucoma or cataracts!) So she dressed in such a way as to camouflage who she was. Then, The Lord told the prophet, ‘Here is the wife of Jeroboam, coming to ask you something about her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus you shall say to her; for it will be when she comes in, that she will pretend to be another woman.” (1 Kings 14:5) And as the prophet heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person?”… verse 6 What were they thinking? Who were they kidding? Did they think they were going to fool God? This was the prophet of God. What was the point of sneaking and trying to trick the prophet? Was it to hear an unbiased report from this man of God? Maybe they thought that the prophet would say something unhappy because the king knew that he was not… well, let me let you read it the way it is written. “…You have not been as my servant, David, who kept my commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in my eyes.” (1 kings 14:7-8). It’s a sad ending for this family and for this king. Among other things, he was a liar and practiced deception.
The same day, I read from the New testament, Acts chapter 5. The story of another husband and wife who practiced deception. Is it odd Or is it God that I should read another story about deception and about a husband and wife who team up to practice this behavior together? That story tells of a husband and wife who sold land and then told the people of the church that they were giving all of the money to the church. But in truth, they had conspired to keep some of the money. They didn’t have to give all of the money to the church. But they lied (perhaps to people please) and they each, separately told the lie.
How alarming that I should have this story in the new testament ‘book ending’ the story in the old testament, both read the same morning. When I opened to my daily psalm, I was suddenly very awake as I read:
In my distress I cried to the Lord,
And He heard me
2 Deliver my soul, O Lord from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given to you,
Or what shall be done to you,
You false tongue? . . .
Is it odd or God that I should read all three in the same morning?
Three years ago on June 14th, I put sugar and flour down for the last time. I went on to let go of other harmful foods and behaviors that kept me sick and compulsively eating (caffeine, cheese, soda, and more.) After two and a half years, I still had 20-30 lbs to lose. I kept praying and ‘trying to figure out why I wasn’t ‘releasing’ (as my Registered Dietician puts it) the rest of my extra weight. I prayed and the day before thanksgiving, I was impressed to start working with a new sponsor and to start weighing and measuring all that goes into my mouth. This was not easy and I wasn’t happy about it. Since that day, I have lost over 10 lbs. I have learned so much about myself and about my ability to lie and be deceptive especially where food is concerned. Oh yes, I was abstinent from sugar and flour and other things. But, on a daily basis, I was deceptive with so many other things. I wasn’t eating everything I said I would eat because I wanted to manipulate how fast I would lose more weight. This led to hunger and eating more than I planned to eat. All combined, I was stuck and my deceptions were not working. It was part of the sickness around the food. I knew down deep that I was “playing” with my food and that this was dangerous and WHO WAS I KIDDING?
There was a sloppiness at times to my food and my REAL sponsor, God, who is always with me, knew that! My sponsor on this earth is a witness to what I commit to God when I commit my food in the morning and what goes on between me and the food. I need her to hold me accountable. I am blessed that she is a gentle leader to me and when I rat myself out with what I’m doing, eating and not eating, she lovingly speaks the truth! ‘You are such a liar, Sally!’
I have been.
God is ever calling me to higher ground.
The word rigorous means: severe, precise, exercising strict and demanding careful honesty. Wow! It sounds like all exaggerating and minimizing is out the window as well; leaving out details and fudging the information will also have to go. For those of you who know me more closely, you still see needed change. Please believe me, I am aware and seeking God, prayerfully, to change this practice and me!
Deception is a form of lying. Psalm 120 is the solution. ” Deliver my soul, O Lord from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue.”(Psalm 120:2)
Only You, Lord, can heal me of my own harmful – deceptive behaviors! Only you can call me to rigorous honesty. I’m counting on you to, one day at a time, take away my fear of telling the truth because of my fear of the out comes. I’m trusting you to heal my verbose tongue that gets me in trouble. I’m willing and so glad you are teaching me to trust.