DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

                 Index

 
Deceit
 

(Dishonesty, Lying, Tricking)

1. The Deceiver

Who does the Bible call the deceiver?

Revelation 12:7-9
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.


KEY BIBLE VERSE: This great dragon-the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world-was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. (Rev. 12:9)

The Bible describes Satan as the deceiver.

- The devil is not a symbol or legend; he is very real.

- Originally Satan was an angel of God, but through his pride, he became corrupt.

The devil is God's enemy and he constantly tries to hinder God's work, but he is limited by God's power and can do only what he is permitted to do.

Job 1:6-2:8
6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied.
10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
13 One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
14 a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,
15 and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
21 and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

2:1 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
2 And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
4 "Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life.
5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."
6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.
8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.


- The name Satan means "adversary" or "accuser"

Revelation 12:10
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

- He actively looks for people to attack

1 Peter 5:8-9
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.


Satan likes to seek out believers who are vulnerable in their faith, who are spiritually weak, or who are isolated from other believers.

Even though God permits the devil to do his work in this world, God is still in control.

Jesus has complete power over Satan-he defeated Satan when he died and rose again for the sins of mankind.

One day Satan will be bound forever, never again to do his evil work.

Revelation 20:10
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

John 8:42-47
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. 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.
45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?
47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."


KEY BIBLE VERSE: You are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him.

When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
44)

Jesus called Satan the father of lies.

- The attitudes and actions of these leaders clearly identified them as followers of Satan.

- They may not have been conscious of this, but their hatred of truth, their lies, and their murderous intentions indicated how much control the devil had over them.

- They were his tools in carrying out his plans; they spoke the very same language of lies.

- Satan still uses people to obstruct God's work (Genesis 4:8; Romans 5:12; 1 John 3:12).

2. Deceptions

What happens when we deceive others?

Luke 8:16-18
16 "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.
17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.
18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."


KEY BIBLE VERSE: Everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light and made plain to all. (Luke 8:17)

We cannot hide our sins from God.

- In God's eyes, people's hearts-their thoughts and motives-are as visible as a lamp mounted in the open.

- No matter how hard we try to cover up bad attitudes, deeds, or words, we cannot deceive God.

- Instead of hiding our faults, we should ask God to change our life so we no longer have to be ashamed. If you are trying to hide anything from God, it won't work. Only when you confess your hidden sins and seek God's forgiveness will you have the help you need to do right.

Exodus 20:1-17
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 "You shall have no other gods before me.
4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 "You shall not murder.
14 "You shall not commit adultery.
15 "You shall not steal.
16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."


KEY BIBLE VERSE: Do not testify falsely against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

Deception weakens the foundations of our life.

- Giving false testimony means lying in court. God knew that Israel could not survive unless its system of justice was incorruptible.

- We should be honest in our private dealings as well as in our public statements.

- In either situation, we "testify falsely" by leaving something out of a story, telling a half-truth, twisting the facts, or inventing a falsehood.

- God warns us against deception.

- Even though deception is a way of life for many people, God's people must not give in to it!

Judges 16:13-30
13 Delilah then said to Samson, "Until now, you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied." He replied, "If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I'll become as weak as any other man." So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric
14 and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength."
16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.
17 So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man."
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, "Come back once more; he has told me everything." So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.
19 Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I'll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, "Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands."
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, "Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain."
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, "Bring out Samson to entertain us." So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,
26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, "Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them."
27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.
28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes."
29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,
30 Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.


KEY BIBLE VERSE: Then Delilah pouted, "How can you say you love me when you don't confide in me? You've made fun of me three times now, and you still haven't told me what makes you so strong!" (Judges 16:15)

The ugliness and danger of deceit are easier to see in others than in ourselves.

- Delilah was a deceitful woman with honey on her lips and poison in her heart. Cold and calculating, she toyed with Samson, pretending to love him while looking for personal gain.

- How could Samson be so foolish? Four times Delilah took advantage of him.

- If he didn't realize what was happening after the first or second experience, surely he should have understood the situation by the fourth time!

- We think Samson was foolish; but how many times do we allow ourselves to be deceived by flattery and give in to temptation and wrong beliefs?

- Avoid falling prey to deceit by asking God to help you distinguish between deception and truth.

Joshua 7:10-12, 14-15, 20-26

10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah
11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp." So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.
12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.

14 His friend responded, "This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands."
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, "Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands."

20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"
21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites.
24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, "Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah." So all the men of Ephraim were called out and they took the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah.
25 They also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan.


KEY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord said to Joshua, "Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen the things that I commanded to be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them; they have also lied about it and hidden the things among their belongings." (Joshua 7:10-11)

One person's deception can cause many to suffer.

- Why did Achan's sin bring judgment on the entire nation?

- Although it was one man's failure, God saw it as national disobedience to a national law.

- God needed the entire nation to be committed to the job it had agreed to do-conquer the land.

- Thus, when one person failed, everyone failed.

- If Achan's sin went unpunished, unlimited looting could break out.

- The nation as a whole had to take responsibility for preventing this undisciplined disobedience.

Achan's sin was not merely his keeping some of the plunder (God allowed it in some cases), but his disobeying God's explicit command to destroy everything connected with Jericho.

- His sin was indifference to the evil and idolatry of the city, not just a desire for money and clothes.

- God would not protect Israel's army again until the sin was removed and the army returned to obeying him without reservation.

- God is not content with our doing what is right some of the time.

- He wants us to do what is right all the time.

- We are under his orders to eliminate any thoughts, practices, or possessions that hinder our devotion to him.

The Devil Knew He could Wait

- There is a story of an old Christian slave in the South whose master was an infidel. One day the master went duck-shooting with his slave, and turning on him suddenly, he said-

- "How is it, uncle, that the devil never tempts me, and always worries you? Why should he tempt a Christian more than an infidel?"

- Before the slave could find an answer, a flock of ducks came within range and the master fired into them. He then directed the slave to make haste to secure the wounded birds first, and let those that were dead wait till last. When the slave returned to his master he had found his answer-

- "You see, massa, I reckon it is this way about the devil. He thinks I'm only a poor, wounded soul that he wants to make sure of first; but you are surely his, and so you can wait."

- There was a great deal of theology in the old man's reasoning. When a man is truly born of God, it seems as if every influence of evil is arrayed against him, and unless the work is genuine he will not stand. I know of a certain temperance lecturer who was once a poor, wretched drunkard. A short time after his conversion he was asked to speak in his native town, and when he came on the stage it was found that liquor had been sprinkled about the floor in order that its fumes might tempt him to drink again.

Blind" Man Goes To Movies

- President Walter G. Clippinger of Otterbein College in Ohio, enjoys the story of the fake blind man. The pitiable creature, with dark glasses and his little tin cup was standing on the street corner, patiently waiting for some small contribution. A kindly man passed by and generously dropped a dime in the poor old fellow's cup. Then for some reason he turned around, and to his surprise saw the blind man's glasses pushed up on his forehead, and his eager eyes closely examining the recent gift.

- I thought you were a blind man," said the disgruntled donor.

- "Oh, no," was the answer, "I am only substituting for the regular blind man today. I'm not really blind at all."

- "Well, where is the regular blind man?" asked the other.

- "Oh, he's gone to the movies; it's his afternoon off."

China's Great Wall Pierced By Bribe

- The Great Wall of China was decades in building, and was finished at the expense of vast treasure and thousands of human lives. It was intended for a defense against the marauding hordes of the north, who had so often laid waste to the land.

- However, historians tell us that within a short time of its completion it was pierced and proved inadequate, not because it was not massive and well enough built, but because of the human element-in each case the enemy bribed the guards.