Summary: Lies are being perpetuated all around us, in the news, in our government, in our society and even in the church. Holding on to the truth is important, but somehow, deceptions can still penetrate that must be corrected and transformed to our advantage.
Do you know the most famous deception of all time? According to the survey, the Trojan Horse was the greatest deception of all time.
Let me explain.
The Trojan Horse is actually a tale from the Trojan War about the deception that the Greeks employed to enter the City of Troy and win the war.
It all started after a fruitless 10 year siege, the Greeks finally devised an ingenious plan by constructing a Trojan horse and hid a select force of men inside.
The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy.
But that night, the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under the cover of the night.
The Greeks entered and destroyed the city f troy, decisively ending the war.
Because of that, the Trojan horse became a symbol of a trick or a form of deception that will cause a target to invite a foe into a securely protected place.
This was unquestionably one of the biggest and most successful tricks known to history.
The story has won a permanent place in the Western imagination as a warning to beware of enemies bearing gifts.
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."
If a person knows that he is being fooled, he will be wise enough to correct it the second time around.
And if he is wise enough, he can turn deception into his own advantage.
But fooling people is a form of deception, isn't it?
What is deception?
The Wikipedia defines deception as an act of beguilement, deceit or bluff to propagate things that are not true.
Some forms of deception include:
Lies - when you make up information or give an information that is opposite or very different from the truth.
Equivocations - when you make an indirect, ambiguous or contradictory statement.
Concealments - when you omit information that is important or relevant to the given context
Exaggerations - when you stretch or overstate the truth to a degree.
Understatements - when you minimize or downplay aspects of the truth.
The Bible says that the truth will set us free.
John 8:32 (NIV) "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Knowledge of the truth is powerful and can be liberating.
The Bible also says that the devil is the master of all lies, tricks and deceits.
He is good in lying, in concealing, in minimizing and downplaying aspects of truth because there is no truth in him.
All truth comes from God.
We are not of the devil but we are of God.
Therefore, we always speak the truth.
We do not resort to speaking lies and deceptions because these are not from God.
The goal therefore is to bed able to discern lies, to expose them, and to correct them so that we could be a good witness to others.
And that is what we are going to learn today.
The other week, we talked about failures and how to turn them into victories and stepping stones of success in life.
Today, we will talk about discerning deceptions and how to transform them into our favor.
Just like failures in life, we all encounter lies and deceptions every now and then from our friends, office mates, even our loved ones.
And sometimes, without knowing it, we too speak lies and deceptions to others without understanding the consequences.
And these deceptions, whether coming from others or from us if not checked or corrected can blind us from the truth that can ultimately paralyze us from fulfilling our life long dreams.
The more we speak those lies, the harder we can discern the real truth.
And so, as much as possible, we need to avoid and correct them by seeking the truth and learning godly wisdom.
To do this, we have to be taught and guided by the biblical principles for living.
We will discover all these biblical principles as we continue Joshua chapter 9.
In this chapter, we will learn about how the Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the leaders of Israel but ultimately, at the end, Joshua was able to turn this around in their favor.
So far, we have learned that Israel is on the mission to conquer the Promised Land.
Jericho has been easily overcome through the power of prayer and worship.
They marched around the city seven times and with the shout of victory, the seemingly impenetrable walls came tumbling down.
They rushed in and destroyed the city by fire.
It was a tremendous moment of victory but it was short-lived.