Sunday, February 5, 2017

Deceiving is Not Believing

Some of the best known and most revered people in the Bible share an unseemly history, they lied. We'll look at Abraham and Isaac to see what led them to not tell the truth and what we can learn from their lapses in judgment so as to not repeat them.

Genesis 26:7

7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he (Isaac) said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”

Things to think about:

  • As we read in this verse, Isaac felt he needed to lie because he was afraid. We'll explore fear as a motivation a little later but we see he inherited this tendency from his father Abraham
    • Genesis 8:11-13 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
  • In both cases, the motivation for lying is rooted in fear, and at its core fear is faithlessness
    • we scheme because we believe we must compensate for God's inability or unwillingness to act in our best interests. 
    • Therefore, Deceiving is not Believing
  • And who would encourage us to doubt God's goodness? None other than the Father of Lies himself, the Devil
    • In John 8:44, Jesus says to the Pharisees, "44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
    • Remember back in Genesis 3 when the serpent lied to Eve? "The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
      • “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 
      • Wow, directly contradicting what God had told them.
  • Proverbs 12:22 says, "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy."
    • In Colossians 3:9, Paul exhorts us, " Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices."
  • Just to make sure we don't accidentally overlook what constitutes "lying", here are a few other terms we see used that can soften the blow of such a harsh word:
    • white lie, fibbing, fudging, shading the truth, half-truth, misspeaking, alternate facts, pretext, exaggeration, telling stories
  • What are some of the things people are afraid of that make us prone to tell a lie?
    • Embarrassment, unpleasant consequences, avoid confrontation, deflect blame, be exposed for a mistake, buy time
  • How does lying erode one's character?  How does it erode one's reputation?
  • Why is a half-truth a whole lie?
    • See Genesis 20:11-13
  • How would you explain to a child why it's not OK to lie?
  • Why is fear an on-ramp to lying?
  • If one of the underlying causes of lying is Fear, what is the antidote?
    • Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
          and he will make your paths straight."
  • Let’s commit to replacing Fear and Faithlessness with Truth and Trust

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