The very real face of deception: Lies are being fired to you from all sides, no matter who or where you are. You need discernment
Following the war in Ukraine is almost surreal. Living in a country where there is very little chance of such an event ever taking place, it is hard to fathom what people there must be going through right now. We see the endless stream of women and children flooding across the border into neighbouring European nations and our hearts go out to them.
We are into the second week of the war in Ukraine, and one wonders when it will all end. What drives individuals to simply take what belongs to others? In many cases it is simply this: because they can, and abuse their powers. There is no legal or moral justification for any of the wrong that is committed on Earth. Is there a passage in the Bible that maybe illustrates the events we are currently witnessing? Let us go to the history of the kings of Israel:
1And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. 3And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. 4And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. 5But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? 6And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. – 1 Kings 21:1-6
Read the entire chapter of 1 Kings 21 first and then continue reading here. There are many similarities between what is happening in Ukraine and what Bible history tells us about Naboth. Here was a man who had a vineyard and owned it legally, but which was eyed by someone else. There was a king who was rich enough and did not need this piece of land. However, he wanted it because it was right next to (“hard by” – verse 1) his palace. The owner did not want to sell as it was an inherited from his fathers. The king was never going to do anything more with it than the owner did. This was a vineyard, and worth a lot of money. The king merely wanted to use it as a garden for herbs (verse 2). He told the owner he would give him another vineyard, but what is the point of this? He had what he was given as an inheritance and why would he want to take another vineyard in its place, or a sum of cash (verse 2). The king sulked (verse 4) and then his wife intervened, killing an innocent person through a process of lies.
Jezebel was an evil woman, and she was a perfect match for her evil husband. In the end it does not matter who committed the crime of murder. They colluded and thus are equally guilty. She told Ahab that she would take care of things (verse 7). Unable to do this legally herself, she sets the path of lies and deception in motion. She commits fraud by falsifying her husband’s signature. Then she arranges for a situation where Naboth would be in the public eye. She uses two false witnesses (deception) to accuse Naboth of cursing the Lord (verse 10 and 13). The result was that Naboth paid the ultimate price for the greed of others and was killed. He did nothing wrong, but lies and deception sown by others resulted in his death.
What do we learn from this? Those who are righteous do not always win in this life, and perfectly good Christian believers have been, and are still, persecuted for obeying God’s Word. Does this mean that the righteous did not have God’s protection, or were somehow wrong? Not at all. When we look at the bigger picture, those who immerse themselves in the Word of God understand that there is an evil presence on this Earth that we cannot even fully comprehend. The devil rules through lies and deception. This is after all how he tricked man into sin in the first place (Genesis 3:4). This continues to this day and will only come to an end when the King of kings and the Lord of lords defeats the devil and his forces (Revelation 19:11) and brings an end to thousands of years of deception.
How do you protect yourself from the lies of the devil? First, you need to fully clothe yourself in the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:11). The reason is given immediately: so that you may stand against the wiles (trickery) of the devil. Why? Because our fight is not against flesh and blood (real persons – the Russian leader is merely being used by the devil) but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). We are commanded to stand (Ephesians 6:13). We can only do this if we clothe ourselves with truth, righteousness, speaking the truth (the gospel), faith, salvation, and finally again, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17). It does not stop here. When we have all of this, what are we to do?
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:18
The focus is on prayer. This is the only way we can overcome the lies and deception of the evil one. Pray that God will give you a spirit of discernment to separate evil from truth. Remember that the devil does not give you an outright lie. He packages it so that it looks true but only once you have opened it and have fallen for the lie, its true colours become clear. What is the discernment mentioned here? Again, the devil is very cunning. He does not give you a clear lie and expects you to accept it as truth. He makes the lie look almost like truth. The famous Bible teacher Charles Spurgeon described it like this: “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
Prayer, and lots of it, is your weapon against the wiles of the devil. You can pray anywhere and everywhere. Over the years I have learnt the value of using any available time to pray. Clothing yourself with the full armour of God is a continuous Spirit-driven process.
Please pray for the people of Ukraine that they may not lose hope, no matter how dire the situation seems to be. Pray for their leaders, that they may make the right decisions when they negotiate and can see through the lies presented to them. Pray for those around you that they may experience the saving grace that is only available through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Pray that you will stand in difficult times. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and present yourself as a living example of what it means to be a true believer. You are the light of the world. Do not hide it.
More articles on deception:
- Deception in the church of the last days, and deprating from the faith, as predicted by Paul...
- The real and the fake church: Paul warns Timothy that there will be a real and a fake church in the last days...
- The ultimate deception: The world is preparing for the arrival of antichrist...
- The worst forms of deception and disappointment take place where it should never have been – in the church...
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