One of the most interesting characters in the Bible is Jacob.
Isaac and Rebekka had twin boys, Esau and Jacob. The character of Jacob was seen at the time of the birth of the two boys. Esau was born first but when Jacob came out of his mother's womb he was holding his brother's heel. Therefore, he was named Jacob, "one who trips another."
This flaw in Jacob's character was made evident when Esau was returning from hunting and was famished. Jacob bought Esau's birthright for a pot of beans. Now, Jacob owned the birthright but knew his father Isaac would never bless him with it. Therefore a plan was contrived between Jacob and his mother Rebekka to deceive Isaac and obtain the birthright.
Esau was a hairy man and Jacob was not. So Rebecca placed animal skins on Jacob's arms so the almost blind Isaac would think it was Esau. Isaac was manipulated through deception to bless Jacob with the birthright instead of Esau.
Deception is very prevalent in today's culture. Advertisers blatantly deceive consumers promising their product will do wonderful things for them. That same advertiser will always list all the positive aspects of their product but never tells the negative results and aspects of the product. The unwitting consumer, expecting to buy the wonder product only to find out they were not told the complete truth or they had been deceived.
The practice of deception is rampant through out our entire culture. Children are deceiving parents, parents are deceiving children, wives and husbands are deceiving each other, pastors and churches are practicing deception and my list could go on and on. Lest I forget this one, politicians are deceiving the voters, never telling us the complete truth.
The opposite of deception is honesty. Where has the principle of just being honest gone in our society? One principle I have operated by for a number of years is, "Just give me all the facts and I can make a wise decision."
How many times have we as parents only received part of the facts from our children concerning a situation in their lives? Using partial information we storm up to the school to set the teacher straight about our darling who would never lie. We enter the parent/teacher conference with an attitude of righteous indignation. We are going to defend our little, sweet, innocent child to the death. The conference begins and we find out the teacher had not mistreated our child, but our darling had been the guilty party and the teacher had acted very responsibly in the situation. Armed with all the information we return home again with righteous indignation but this time we have all the facts and our little darling will be on restrictions the rest of their life. Our little, sweet, never tell a lie darling had deceived us.
The answer for deception is truth and honesty. The Scripture teaches us we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. It is time for the body of Christ to take off our masks and become real, speaking all the truth and nothing but the truth. Let's just lay the facts on the table and then we can all walk in the freedom brought by the truth.
While on staff at a church when my wife and I began dating, I pondered how to keep the talk to a minimum and make sure the right information gets out. So, my decision was very simple. I simply got up on a Wednesday night and told the entire congregation I was seeing someone and told them who it was. I did the same thing when we became engaged. The church embraced us and today we serve together at that same church. But if we had deceived them and slipped around to see each other, tongues would have been a wagging and our relationship would have been doomed.
Final thought: We are at a crucial time in history. Awakening is beginning to happen but also evil is abounding. The answer for the deception of this time is for prophets, especially, to rise up and begin to boldly declare truth to this nation. Today, our society and especially political leaders need prophets like Nathan who will boldly confront the king decreeing, "David, you are the man," prophets like Elijah who will unashamedly confront the false prophets of our day regardless of personal danger.
We desperately need voices like John the Baptist crying out, "Herod, it is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." In the history of our nation it has always been the church that has held governmental leaders accountable. The cries of liberty and freedom came first from the pulpits of America. Pulpits across America thundered with the cries to abolish slavery prior to the Civil War. God, may the churches of America resound with truth and honesty. Of course, all of the fivefold ministers must declare truth, but the heralding voice of the prophet must be heard above all crying out.
James Rawlins is the Founder and President of Keys of Awakening Ministries Inc. He has served in ministry for over 40 years as a pastor, teacher, apostle, prophet and author. He pastored churches in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi and served as a missionary in Romania. He has served as a college professor, principal and teacher of a Christian school. He has authored several books and his latest book is Twenty-one Keys of Awakening, A Prayer Journal for Personal and National Revival.
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