Lies and Deception

Temptation and Fall

Reading the Word

Genesis 3:1–7 (ESV)

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Satan is crafty, as he has always been. In the garden, he deceived the woman by planting doubt in her mind about God’s goodness. He questioned God’s limitation for Adam and Eve and told the woman that God was holding her back from reaching her potential. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil,” the serpent told Eve. He convinced her that if she ate of the forbidden fruit she would be able to rule herself and have no need for God to tell her what to do. So the woman ate and the man ate. They quickly realized that what they had done was wrong and sought to hide themselves and their shame.

Sin is like that. It promises us a better life. It promises more fun, more fame, more money, more of everything that obedience to God keeps us from. But sin never delivers on its promises. It destroys lives, shatters relationships, and leads to death. We sin because we believe the same lie that the first man and woman believed. We believe that God is holding us back and that our disobedience will give us a better life. We believe that we can run our own lives and that we do not need God telling us how to live.

Do not be deceived. Sin takes us down the road that leads to death. Trusting in God leads us to eternal life in Jesus Christ.

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No Interest in Truth

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Reading the Word

Luke 22:63–71 (ESV)

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

Parallel Texts: Matthew 26:67-68; Mark 14:65; John 18:22-24

Understanding and Applying the Word

Councils and leaders are supposed to gather to determine truth. However, the council that examined Jesus had no interest in the truth. They were willing to accept false testimony to accuse Jesus, but they were unwilling to listen to Jesus’ statement about being the Christ. This was no real search for truth. It was a group that had already decided that Jesus had no place in their lives, so they were going to remove him using whatever means necessary.

As Jesus’ followers today, we must prepared for the same reaction to Jesus. We are charged with the mission of going into the world and proclaiming that Jesus is Lord and Savior, but many resist the message. The sad thing is, most of those who reject Jesus will never make an honest attempt to uncover the truth about who he is. Why is this the case? Because many simply do not want Jesus, who confronts us in our sin and calls us to repentance. It is much easier to stick with the lies and mock Jesus than let the truth turn our world upside down. As Jesus’ followers, we must continue to proclaim the gospel because it is the most important truth there is. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world.

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False Accusations and Trusting God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 35:19–28 (ESV)

19 Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. 20 For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. 21 They open wide their mouths against me; they say, “Aha, Aha! Our eyes have seen it!” 22 You have seen, O Lord; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me! 23 Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! 24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me! 25 Let them not say in their hearts, “Aha, our heart’s desire!” Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.” 26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me! 27 Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” 28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we learn that David’s accusers are those who are intentionally lying about him. The phrase “wink the eye” has the idea of deceit behind it as do the words of verse 21. There David’s enemies say, “Aha, Aha! Our eyes have seen it!” They claim to have seen something that has not truly happened, which is why David leans on the fact that God truly has seen and knows that David is innocent.

It is a difficult thing when you are falsely accused. It is even more difficult when the false accusation comes from someone who knows they are lying about what happened. How do we handle these things? More often than not, we likely get angry, lash out, and do all we can to destroy the other person. We probably give little thought of God in the situation. This psalm tells us that we can trust in God, even in these situations. And we can sing his praises as he sustains and strengthens us.

Does this mean we should become a doormat? Absolutely not! But it does mean that we can trust in God while we do the right thing in the right way without stooping to the ways of an unbelieving world.

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