Summary: Don't depend on a lie to get you out of trouble; depend on the Lord and trust Him to take you out of "Egypt" as well as take "Egypt" out of you.
A police officer pulled a man over for speeding and had the following exchange:
Officer: May I see your driver's license?
Driver: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my fifth DUI.
Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle?
Driver: It's not my car. I stole it.
Officer: The car is stolen?
Driver: That's right. But, come to think of it, I believe I saw the owner's card in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There's a gun in the glove box?
Driver: Yes, sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the woman who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.
Officer: There's a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!?
Driver: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. The car was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the driver:
Captain: Sir, can I see your license?
Driver: Sure. Here it is. It was valid.
Captain: Who's car is this?
Driver: It's mine, officer. Here's the registration.
Captain: Could you slowly open your glove box so I can see if there's a gun in it?
Driver: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.
Captain: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told there's a body in it.
Driver: No problem. The trunk was opened; no body.
Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glovebox, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.
Driver: Yeah, I'll bet he told you I was speeding, too. (The Good Clean Funnies List, 12/6/2002; www.PreachingToday.com)
I love that story, not only because it’s funny, but it also illustrates why so many people lie. They lie to get themselves out of a precarious situation. They lie, because they fear rejection or retaliation of some kind. Or they lie, because they think the truth will cost them something.
People lie to protect themselves, but it very seldom (if ever) works in the long run. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Genesis 12, Genesis 12, where we see what happened to Abram when he lied to try and protect himself.
Genesis 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. (ESV)
Times were tough, so Abram stepped out of the will of God for a while. He left the land God had given him and went down to Egypt. He had intended to be there only a little while, until things got better, but things only got worse.
Genesis 12:11-13 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” (ESV)
In Bible days, a man could be killed for his wife, especially in enemy territory. So Abram encourages his wife to lie to protect himself. Besides, this was not an outright lie. According to Genesis 20:12, Sarai was Abram’s half-sister. They had the same father, but not the same mother. Abram’s lie was half true! But as we shall see, a half-truth is still a whole lie.
Genesis 12:14-15 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. (ESV)
This is where she told him she was Abram’s sister to protect Abram from being killed. Abram encouraged Sarai to lie to protect himself. And for a while, things seemed to go well, very well, in fact!
Genesis 12:16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. (ESV)
Abram got rich off of Pharaoh, because Pharaoh was actually paying Abram a dowry. Pharaoh was making arrangements to take Sarai as his wife, but this bound Abram to an obligation from which he could not extricate himself. And what seemed to be a good plan turned out very badly for Abram.
Just a few verses earlier (vs.2), God had promised Abram many descendants, but that promise was now in jeopardy. Worse than that, God’s promise to bless the world through one of Abram’s descendants was now in danger of failing, as well. That descendant, of course, was the promised Messiah, who was to come and deliver people from their sins.