John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Apart from the devil, I suppose the best known liar in the Bible is Jacob. His name means supplanter or liar or deceiver depending on the dictionary that one consults. He lied to his father in order to obtain the blessing that his father intended for Esau. He lied to Esau on his way back from Padanaram or modern day Syria. It appears that he and his wives’ father, Laban, had an uneasy relationship, likely because they were both liars (I am assuming that because Laban deceived Jacob into taking Leah as his wife). Jacob came by his ability to lie honestly. His grandfather Abraham had lied about his wife Sarah while in Egypt. To save his skin (not hers) he had said she was his sister. He did the same thing when he was in the land of the Philistines. Of course, he was telling a half-truth since she was his half-sister. Then Isaac learns from his father and does the same thing and says Rebekah is his sister when he flees to the Philistines because of a famine in the land of Canaan. Only Rebekah is not a sister except in a general sense. She is actually a second cousin as I understand genealogies. So Abraham tells a half lie, Isaac lies in much the same way, and Jacob just lies.
The Truth about Liars
My father used to say that some people lie when the truth would do better and I think that would have been true for both Abraham and Isaac. He also said that it takes a good memory to be a good liar because sometimes it is difficult to remember what lie you have told and to whom you have told it. Remembering the details of the lie can get tricky. But a good liar can be a great deceiver and that seems to be the character of the devil.
One of the characteristics of the last days is lying and deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 says, “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie (or the liar), that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” I believe this deception has to do with a man explaining why so many people have disappeared in the “catching away of the true believers” and he exalts himself as the world’s hope against the invasion that must have occurred. He says he is a man of peace when in fact he simply wants people to worship him instead of the Lord. And of course he wants to get rich since money is power. I think he will control the economy so no man can buy or sell in the market place unless they have pledged their allegiance to him.
How do we sort out what is true and what isn’t today? A little common sense help even though I realize we are to take people at face value if at all possible. In our day when people know the power of words and take courses in body language so that they can lie effectively, how can the simple be wise and avoid the liar?
First know that a liar tends to flatter. If flattery doesn’t work then a liar will confront. It is always well to get a second opinion on anything that you are “buying” whether it is a house or an investment or truth about your relationship with God. Unfortunately, we have all lied at times and so no man can really say he always tells the truth. But most of us try to pay our bills, we try to keep our marriage vows and our other promises. The general character of our lives should be that of someone upon whom a person can depend. Most of the time, liars take advantage of a person by telling them what they want to hear. This is often part of their flattery.
But in all honesty, it hurts when we find out that we have believed a liar. Satan has convinced people that He tells the truth and that the Bible is a lie. So another technique of a liar is to undermine the basic foundational beliefs by which we live. I know many people do not believe the Bible because they THINK that it is not dependable. In my mind, if that were to be true, there is nothing that is dependable because those who don’t believe the Bible have no unified system of truth with which to replace the Bible. If a person is going to take something we believe to be true from us, they need to replace it with something better and so far no one has given me anything better. The Lord promises us eternal life if we will trust Him. And that is just what I am doing and plan to continue doing.
Meditation for the week of January 15, 2017