"Keeping the Faith, Sharing the Faith and Praying for Harvests"


Introduction: There are three types of lying: (i.) Hysterical lying—the liar believes the lies; (ii.) Sociopathic lying—the liar deceives for personal gain; (iii.) Mythomaniac lying—the liar fabricates a complex, coherent story he or she tries to make others believe. (Mythomania is the tendency to lie, exaggerate, or relate incredible imaginary adventures as if they had really happened, occurring in some mental disorder.)

THE TEST: Your neighbour, brandishing a matchet, was running after his wife. His wife ran into your house and hid underneath your bed. Her husband followed her into your house, furious, and asked, ‘Where is she?. Where is she? Your backdoor that leads to an open field at the back of your house was open. What would you  tell him?  You know this particular neighbour is an aggressive person and has threatened his wife in your presence one time that he would kill his wife if she provokes him again.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Texts: Exodus 20: 1-18; Acts 5:1-11                  

Proposition:  The life of deception and falsehood leads to shame, disgrace, destruction and death.

 All lies, whether great or small, began with self-deception and many of us are good at it.

Why do we lie? Let’s face it, all of us at one time or the other have spoken a lie to another person.

What is lying?. Lying is telling an untruth with the intention of deceiving another or  destroying the person we don’t like. Jezebel lied in order to kill Naboth and take his vineyard.

There are several reasons why we choose to lie or deceive another person. And this began at Garden of Eden with Satan who deceived Eve who later deceived Adam. We will explore some of these reasons.  We would conclude this message with consequences of lying and deception and why the LORD GOD bans lying and deception by giving us the ninth commandment.


REASONS FOR LYING AND DECEPTION: There are so many reasons to lie, compelling and loving reasons, not simply because we have cheating hearts but also because our worldly life offers so many incentives to lying.

1.          EVASION OF REALITY: “To lie is to distort reality for one’s own purposes and bespeaks a refusal to submit to norms of right and wrong; by lying, one seeks to rearrange not just individual facts but one’s just place in the world and so avoid having to live by the normal rules of life” (Duane A. Garrett, New American Commentary, Vol 14, p. 98).  To lose contact with reality is to lose orientation, to lose rationality, and to lose a dimension of one’s self.  The question is whether it is good to deceive whenever it is hard to explain. A person who lives with falsehood is living in an unreal world, and to force someone into that world by deception is demeaning and wicked.  Lies are almost always told without due regard for those who must pick up the pieces. Joseph’s brother never bothered on the horrendous suffering both Joseph and their father would undergo on the basis of their lying. Potiphar’s wife ‘s lie may lead to Joseph’s death if not for the grace of God. Lying deprives people of their good reputation


 2.       CONTROL or MANIPULATION: Satan, the Father of lies, our Archenemy, Gen. 3:4, 13. Arrogant people tell lies. They want to take control of their lives. They do not want to submit to the leadership and directions of God their Creator.  They believe lying and deception would supply all their needs and, therefore, do not believe that God, the All Sufficient and the All Provider, El Shaddai, is capable of supplying all their needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. They are selfish and pervert the cause of justice to enrich themselves. They are unfaithful to God, to friends, neighbours, spouses and even to themselves. They also want to control the people they lie to. They tell lies upon lies endlessly to enrich themselves and control them. Samson and Delilah’s story is a perfect example of control issue. Read Judges 16:4-31. In v .5 we read: “The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him.  Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”  Delilah badgers, (harasses, nags, pesters) Samson day and night. Hear what Delilah tells Samson in v. 15: “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is.” Delilah was a gold digger. She has no love for Samson. She sold Samson for a large sum of money.  Delilah is the female Judas of the Old Testament. Jesus was sold by Judas for only 30 pieces of silver! There are so many people like that in our lives. They profess to love us but they are in that loving relationship to cheat, deceive and destroy us for their own personal gain. May God Almighty deliver us from such people.  But Prov. 20:17 states, “Bread gain by deceit is sweet, but afterward the mouth will be full of gravel.”  Prov. 21:6 states, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour, the pursuit of death.” What happened to Delilah in the end?  She died a terrible death when buried beneath the ruins of the temple her husband’s restored, divine strength had caused.  [Perhaps Potiphar’s wife’s intention is to use sex to control Joseph to be at her becks and calls.]

3.       FEAR OF DEATH OR SELF-LOVE: (Self-love is the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.) Abraham, in stating that Sarah was his sister. Abraham felt sure the Egyptians would kill him if they knew the truth about his marital status, because at age 65 Sarah was still very unusually beautiful. Abraham never thought what would happen to Sarah with this deception. He was concerned with his own safety at the peril of his wife. That is self-love. Gen.12:10-20. It seems hard to believe that such a good man could deliver his lovely wife over to a heathen monarch, but he did, and Sarah entered Pharaoh’s harem.  Gen. 20:1-18 tells us how readily Abraham fell into the same self-deception in Gerar, when he once again feared for his safety on account of his wife. As he later explained to Abimelech of Gerar, “I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place; and they will kill me because of my wife” (v.11, NASB). Here again Abraham showed a lack of faith in God’s power to preserve him from deadly danger. Like father like son.  Isaac, used the same form of deception, stating his wife was his sister. Gen. 26: 6-13.{ The Gibeonites, in misrepresenting their habitat. They lied  by saying that they had come “from a very far country”  because of their admiration for the God of Israel, who had so wonderfully prospered His people. They lured Israel into an alliance by the use of deception. Joshua 9:3-15.Ehud deceives Eglon and slays him. Judges 3:15-30.}  

 4.       LOVE: Michal =“Who is like Yahweh”, in the false statement that David was sick, in order to save him from Saul’s violence. She initiates David’s flight and the following cover-up. Michal may know that their marriage was a subtle plot against David, alerting her to the fact her father’s murderous intentions do not always express themselves in recognizable ways. See the difference from Delilah’s actions. Delilah killed her husband. Michal saved her own husband. I Samuel 19:11 – 17. Jonathan lied to Saul, his father, to cover for David’s absence at the king’s table during the new moon festival.  I Samuel 20. Read vv.27- 29 “27 It came about the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty; so Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan then answered Saul, “ David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem, 29 for he said, ‘Please let me go, since our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to attend. And now, if I have found favor in your sight, please let me get away that I may see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”

 5.       BAD AFFECTION OR STRONG FAVOURITISM: Jacob and Rebekah, in imposing Jacob on his father, and Jacob’s impersonating Esau. Gen. 27:6-23.There are some writers who try to justify the actions of Rebekah by saying that she was prompted to take the course she did concerning Jacob because of the prediction that, “the elder shall serve the younger,” but God had no need of trickery and deceit to fulfil His promise. Ambitious for her son, Rebekah sacrificed the love of her husband, the loss of the esteem of her elder son, and the peace of her soul, for the idolised son whose face she never saw again. We are certainly told that Isaac loved Rebekah, but not that she loved Isaac. Rebekah’s record therefore shows that while Isaac was faithful to her, she was unfaithful to Isaac.  Those who deceive do not love the persons they deceive, if they do they would not deceive them.   Laban deceived Jacob, in his marriage to Leah. Gen 29:25-27. It was only God’s own providence that enabled Jacob to overcome the devious deceptions practiced on him by Laban, who foisted his eldest daughter on him (probably after making him so drunk that by the time he got to bed he could not tell one woman from another) instead of  giving him the girl he really love. Perhaps Jacob treated the deception as a retributive justice for he had previously deceived his blind and dying father.  Rachel’s lie to her father, Laban, regarding the stolen household gods. Gen. 31:30-35. Rachel was a worshipper of idols in secret. Because of his supernatural beliefs, Rachel likely stole the gods to ensure a prosperous journey. The curse placed on anyone who stole Laban’s household gods by Jacob came to pass. Rachel did not live long after the episode at Gilead but died at childbirth, while being delivered of her second child, Benjamin (Gen. 35:16-19). This could have allowed her only a few years of life after her useless and pointless theft of her father’s household idols.

 6.       LUST: Amnon deceives Tamar by feigning sickness in order to rape her. 2 Samuel 13:6-14.   Tamar was the half-sister of Amnon, David’s first son by one of his wives, Ahinoam. Tamar was the sister of Absalom from the same mother, Maacah.  What a snare physical beauty is unless grace accompanies and guards it. (Prov. 31:30). Amnon invited Tamar to his quarters, knowing what an excellent baker she was, pretended that he was sick and raped her. In his heart Absalom hated Amnon for forcing his full sister, Tamar.  Her rape rankled in his heart (continued to cause him bitter resentment within his mind)  for two years when he arranged that murder of his half-brother, Amnon, for his violation of Tamar.


 7.        RETALIATION/ANGER: Jacob’s sons avenge the rape of Dinah. The sons of Jacob deceived Hamon when they told him that all the males of the town must be circumcised before they could agree to inter-marriage. When the pain of the operation was at its height and movement was difficult, on the third day, Simeon and Levi attacked and slew all the males of the town, including young Shechem himself.  Gen. 34:13-31; Absalom’s deception to avenge his sister, Tamar, who was raped by Ammon. 2 Samuel l3:23-29.

 8.        ENVY: “Jealousy is as cruel as the grave.” Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because of envy. Gen. 37:18-35. C. H. Spurgeon says, “It is hardest of all, to be envied by your brothers. If the devil hates us, we can bear it.. . .But when the friends within the house slander us. . .”, when the family members who should uphold us turn to be our enemies, then it is only God who can deliver us from their hands. Little wonder David prays in Psalm 35, “Contend O Lord with those who contend with me. Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. Say to my soul: ‘I am your salvation’. . .”   Ananias’ story may also involve envy towards Barnabas who sold a plot of land and laid the proceeds at the feet of the Apostles.

 9.        DESPERATION: (Desperation is an emotional state in which a person feels a situation to be hopeless and without satisfactory option.) Gen. 38:12-26. Tamar deceived Judah, in misrepresenting herself as a harlot. Gen. 38:15.Judah did not give Tamar his third son to provide her and her dead husband with a family. Tamar takes matter into her own hands. Pretending to be a prostitute, she bargains with her father-in-law, slept with him, and becomes pregnant. Unknowingly Judah has done what he was unwilling to let his youngest son do, but in doing so, he has endangered the life of Tamar. Tamar’s pregnancy exposes her to death by burning (v. 24; stoning in Deut. 22:21), but Judah, on seeing the items he gave as a pledge to a prostitute, acknowledges that Tamar is more in the right than he is. Tamar bears twin sons, Perez and Zerah.   The Gospels trace Jesus’ lineage back through Perez because King David came from the lineage Perez, whose father was Judah. RAHAB’S LIE (Josh. 2:1-14). In Rahab’s case the lie meant for her a step in faith that put her very life in danger. She professed a very firm conviction that the Israelite forces would capture and destroy Jericho, even though it looked like as if Jericho was virtually impregnable. She risked her life for the cause of the LORD, as she told that lie to the arresting officers. Despite her sinful past her faith was reckoned to her for righteousness. In Hebrews 11:31 we read this tribute to her courage and faith: “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.”  [cf. James 2:25] Potiphar’s wife’s longing for the handsome Joseph perhaps so that she could have children for Potiphar.

 10.     GREED: Jezebel’s lie to get Naboth killed and took over his vineyard field.1 Kings 21:5-15. Gehazi, when he ran after Naaman, and lied to Naaman that Elisha wanted a talent of silver and two changes of raiment. 2 Kings 5:20-27. Laban’s lame excuse could not hide his greed for gain. Gen. 29:25-27.  Laban knew the local marriage customs seven years earlier when he agreed to give his younger daughter to Jacob in exchange for seven years of service.  But he made no mention of it to Jacob at the time. Jacob is a deceiver but he met his equal in the person of Laban. Jacob was confronted with one like himself, and he must learn that even God’s chosen one would reap what he sowed. “. . . be sure your sin will find you out.” Num. 32:23. Greed can take many forms. It can be the desire for money, position, power and prestige. It is the desire that drives broken hearts to seek joy, fulfilment and significance in anything other than God. Acts 5:1-11. When Ananias and Sapphira thought that they could deceive the church, embezzle funds (the meaning of “kept back” in v.2), lie about their gift, and gain a position of prominence in the church for their own selfish purposes, the Holy Spirit would not allow it to happen. They wanted to use the church for personal gain and personal glory.  They were interested in drawing attention to themselves, receiving the accolades of their fellow church members, and giving the perception that they were spiritual, sacrificial people.  They were satisfying their own craving for personal prestige and power. God will not be mocked. Ananias did not live to his name which means “God is gracious.” He did not believe that God will continue to be gracious to him if he lays the whole proceeds at the feet of the apostles. To lay one’s gift at their feet was to offer it to Jesus Christ, the One they represented. Ananias convinced his wife to deceive Holy Spirit because he did not believe that God Almighty will supply all his needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  He trusted in the wordly security of earthly possessions. “Wealth does afford a measure of protection, but the danger of wealth is precisely that it gives its possessor the illusion of security than it can provide” (Garrett, p. 165). Prov. 18:11. Yahweh is the only real source of security in life and death.

11.   CHARACTER ASSASSINATION: Potiphar’s wife, in falsely accusing Joseph. Gen. 39:`14-17. Potiphar’s wife ‘s intention could be to have children  for her husband through this handsome young man. Potiphar’s wife told a lie against Joseph because she refused to violate her. Jews, in falsely accusing Jesus of being gluttonous and a winebibber (Matt. 11:19), falsely accusing Jesus of blasphemy, when he forgives sin (Matt. 9:2-6,  Luke 5:21).  Satan falsely accuses Job. Job 1:9-11,  2:3-5.