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The Truth about Deception

by Carol Round

Scripture reveals more stories of deception. Jacob, with the help of his mother, Rebekah, tricked his father into believing he was Esau, the oldest who would receive Isaac’s blessings.

“Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What have you done?’ ‘The serpent deceived me,’” she replied.  “‘That’s why I ate it’”—Genesis 3:13 (NLT).

A recent email reminded me of how easy it might be to fall for a scam if we’re not discerning. The idiom, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true,” comes to mind.

The email I received was supposedly from a church friend. The scammer was asking for money, writing that he’d lost his wallet while overseas. Without knowing this friend had passed away several weeks before, I still would have questioned the email for various reasons. The wording of the email in broken English spoke for itself. Second, if this friend had a need for money, he would have contacted a relative, not me.

The Appeal of Deceptions

Author and speaker Andrew Strom says, “Many deceptions only appeal to us because there is something inside us that ‘wants’ to believe them. They are seductive because of darkness and wrong motives in our own lives. We must search our hearts and root these out.”

Reading, studying scripture and praying can help us root out those motives and help us understand our tendency to fall for deceptions. We live in a fallen world where deception can be traced back to the Garden of Eden.

In the Garden

In Genesis 3, we read of the original deception by the serpent—the shrewdest of all the wild animals God had created. The sly serpent knew God had forbidden Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden.

Eve falls for the wily serpent’s deceptive words and tastes a bite of the forbidden fruit. She then gives some to her husband. After their eyes are opened and they clothe themselves in fig leaves, they hide from God when he walks through the garden in search of them.

They paid the price of falling for Satan’s schemes when God kicked them out of the garden.

We Shouldn’t Be Surprised

Scripture reveals more stories of deception. Jacob, with the help of his mother, Rebekah, tricked his father into believing he was Esau, the oldest who would receive Isaac’s blessings.

Jacob ran from Esau after the discovery of the deceit. Laban, Jacob’s uncle took him in, then tricked his nephew into marrying his eldest daughter Leah, when he really loved the youngest daughter, Rachel. It required Jacob to sacrifice an additional seven years working for his uncle before he could marry his real love. It’s ironic that Jacob, the deceiver, was then deceived by his uncle.

Andrew Strom adds, “Now, it should not surprise us that there are strong deceptions or ‘powerful delusions’ around today, for this is exactly what the Scriptures predict will happen. All the way through the New Testament we are warned of these days—over and over again.”

Warnings in the New Testament

In Matthew 24, Jesus warns His disciples. “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things might happen, but the end is still to come.”

In 2 Thessalonians, Paul’s message to the body of Christ is that people are easily deceived, even Christians. He warns them to be on guard for those who make false claims.

Just as we must be aware of the motives and claims of those who would cheat us out of our hard-earned dollars, we must be spiritually ready to avoid deception that does not line up with biblical truth. Be discerning. Be on guard for the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.

I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at carol@carolaround.com with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2Ihm2fv

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