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True or False?
Photo: Erik Reis
“O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!”
-Sir Walter Scott

These brief lines aptly summarize the current situations of several individuals making national headlines in America these days. Their webs seem to be hopelessly tangled as their personal and professional lives writhe in chaos.

The Biblical account of Jacob and Esau is another poignant example of the tangled web effect. This story is a compelling drama of mistaken identity, passion, deceit and trickery. Perhaps the famous playwright William Shakespeare borrowed from the book of Genesis! It is very likely that the wise man, King Solomon, recalled the tragic lives of these two brothers when listing the characteristics most hateful to God in Proverbs 6:16-19 (including deceit, lying and causing discord among brothers).

Jacob craved the spiritual blessings of the birthright. He knew from the angel’s words that the birthright was supposed to be his. His parents also knew it. Perhaps Rebekah truly supposed her little scheme to thwart Isaac’s plan was “helping God out.” But imagine how their lives could have been different if they had waited for God to accomplish the plan.

False Conclusion

Perhaps deceitfulness is so abhorrent because it always destroys trust and damages relationships – sometimes irreparably. Yet deceit can be so insidious, so wily and serpentine in its nature. Rock-solid facts can be stated in such a way as to convey a false conclusion. And we all know it is possible to “tell a lie” without saying a word.

So how does one know what truth really is? And how do we stay grounded in truth? We cannot speak or live the truth unless we know the truth. And the only source of absolute truth is God.

When we consistently seek the face of God through prayer and studying the words of God recorded in the Bible, our minds can be continually guided by the author of all truth. And our words and actions will reflect our connection with that infallible source of truth, resulting in lives filled with internal peace and the countless blessings of integrity.

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By Brenda Dickerson. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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