I recently received two early morning telephone calls. The first was an automated message saying that unusual activity has been noticed on my Amazon account. The caller said something like, “If this was you press 1 and if not press…….? Before I could learn what next to press, I had already pressed delete. But they were out to get me that day because shortly afterwards, for the umpteenth time I received another message saying that my internet connection would be lost if I did not…..? I did not hear the rest of the message, as the delete button had again been pressed. What impressed me about the second caller was that his voice, was cultured and authorative, a clever disguise.

This reminded me of a church secretary who told me that in his church fellowship a man with such an authorative voice could speak up and often sway the meeting. A member of SBC told me of a man who was stopped by a policeman in his car and told that he had committed a motoring offence. It might have been a clear-cut case. However, the police constable was not prepared for what was going to be said by the supposed offender. In a cultured voice the offender told the officer that he was not guilty. The officer was put on the back foot, no doubt wondering who the cultured man might be. He decided to let the man go, not taking any chances. In all the cases I have mentioned it is possible that deception was taking place.

We live in a country where deception has become very common, many politicians were caught out in deception as they falsely claimed for expenses. A Police Chief Constable had to resign due to deceit. I often wonder about the veracity of TV adverts, made at considerable cost in well lighted studios.

Once of a day second-hand car salesmen were chiefly regarded as con men but now a more sophisticated group of people have entered on the scene. I once attended an exhibition and a car was surrounded by many men, so I joined their ranks. Surely a wonder car was being exhibited but as I drew nearer a scantily young female was in view, draped across the gleaming bonnet of the vehicle. In TV adverts we see this as attempts are made to make gullible people think that if they purchase such and such a car then pretty young females will smile at them alluringly as they pass by. Even the humble mop can be made to look attractive as it glides over a pre dust covered floor and leaves a shine only matched by the teeth of the lady pushing it. It is not all deception of course but my experience is that there is plenty of it.

So, to the Bible which speaks of deception, a boy’s coat of many colours dipped in the blood of an animal to deceive the boy’s father into thinking he was dead. The master deceiver Jacob whose name means ‘twister’ and who had a mother tutor in deception. The smooth armed boy served his father with a lovely meal and appeared to have hairy arms but they were fake. He struggled to imitate his brothers voice but deceive his father he did.

Here are a few more that you may recall, Abraham and his son Isaac both tried to deceive people into thinking their wives were their sisters. Laban that master cheat, cheated another master cheater Jacob and conned him into working twice as long as promised for his future wife. Once some envoys turned up with worn out sacks and wineskins pretending that they had come from a far country. Amnon, King David’s son pretended to be ill and deceived his sister and violated her. Absalom murdered him for that horrible deed.

There is a saying “O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”. It is possible to deceive ourselves (John 1 vs 8) by saying we have no sin. Usually, deception is to con others but in this latter case it is the most foolish deception of all, that of deceiving ourselves.
But only one person cannot be deceived and that is the Living God. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that he shall also reap”. Reaping can involve a life of regret following a wrong action, we can reap in all sorts of ways in this life and the next.

“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life”.