‘But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless’. (Jeremiah 7:8)
This verse is an excerpt from the prophet Jeremiah ripping into his Jewish listeners, who had substituted true spirituality for a form of religiosity. In Jeremiah’s words, his listeners had naively come to believe a lie wherein they had little concern to set things right in their lives, yet would come before God in the temple, offer sacrifices and go away with the belief that they were fine with God. Nothing was farther than the truth and judgment was impending.
Look around at the present day culture that pervades our life and it is not difficult to see how deceptive words keep man in the dark. When we end up believing lies and living our lives by lies, it is trusting in deceptive words as pointed out by Jeremiah.
For example, when man believes that money is the cure for everything in life and obtaining money is what life is all about, it is a lie, nevertheless a lie by which most people live their lives. When current culture has managed to convince young people that becoming a superstar in Hollywood is what is most desirable in life, is it not a lie that has taken hold of them? Look at the ads that flood our media, listen to politicians campaigning or observe our day-to-day conversations- deceptive words reign!
The reasons for man being deceived by lies are twofold. First, lies exist when there is a paucity of truth. Truth is found in the fullness of God and when man shuts God out of his life, darkness reigns and lies abound.
9 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3).
In Jesus’ own words, man shuts out the light from God that is available to him through Christ when he continues to delight in evil and persist in sin. The vicious cycle continues wherein man continues to go deeper into sin and gets progressively bound by darkness and lies.
The second reason is dwelling on lies so frequently that an abundance of the input of lies prevents man from grasping the truth.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.
This famous quote is often attributed to Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, who was referring to the British but probably used it more effectively than anyone else. Every propagandist learns the value of this statement in advancing his viewpoint. It is not only dictators and repressive regimes that use this principle, but also media, ads and those who author the character of current culture.
The challenge for a pilgrim is to be discerning, hold on to the truth, love and live the truth, so that worthless deceptive words will not take him captive.
- A REACTIVE GOD
- NONE LIKE YOU