Lies and Lies
Lord God, the source of all true joy, may I rejoice today in Your person, power, and peace. This is your day!
Read GENESIS 27:1-40
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
A sobering definition of a lie is that it is the merest intention to deceive. We need to keep that in mind.
Who hasn’t told a “white lie”–about liking the socks we got for Christmas or the cupcakes the children made for us? Such lies are attempts to be kind. While Scripture apparently issues a global condemnation of all lying (e.g. Rev. 22:15), we all know there are lies and lies. There are things we say which are not absolutely true but which are our well-intentioned attempts simply to be nice or not hurt someone. Other lies are very different, meant to hurt or intended to deceive; they “give false testimony” against others (Exod. 20:16). Many leading characters of the Bible lied, including Rachel, Jacob’s sons and David. Abraham and Isaac have already told the same lie and almost created disaster (Gen. 20:2; 26:7).
Should Rebekah have lied? She was clearly a strong woman, and was also a woman of faith and prayer (Gen. 25:22,23). She had been given prophetic insight into the future but, as is sometimes the case with strong characters, she felt she must be proactive to ensure God’s purposes would prevail even if this involved deceptive behavior. She could have acted differently, perhaps confiding in Isaac or teaching her children early what they should do.
Christians sometimes read these stories as if the end did justify the means, but this is to read them wrongly. God’s ultimate purposes will indeed prevail (Job 42:2) but along the way, people, even key people, may act wrongly. That God’s intent is not finally frustrated, and may even seem to be moved forward by wrong actions, does not make them right. Rather, it means that God overrules, not by turning evil into good, but by ensuring that his will prevails, not only through the way his people act, but sometimes in spite of it. Indeed, we could argue that this is a major theme of the Old Testament.
“Keep me from deceitful ways … I have chosen the way of truth …” (Psa. 119:29,30,32). Ask the Lord to help you walk in truth and avoid deceitful ways.
Triune God, You are the Truthful One. In You is no deception, duplicity, or deceit. As Your child, I want to reflect to others who You are.
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