Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Steps of deceit!

Artwork by Escher

The piece shows the eye-catching steps of deceit which run every which way and connect in deceptive ways. Like the manner of fallen man, they are illusory steps going nowhere and all over at the same time.

“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel” (Proverbs 20.17).

The following is a quote dealing with the matter of deceit from Augustine’s exposition on Psalm 50.19:

“Thy mouth hath abounded in malice, and thy tongue hath embraced deceit” (ver. 19). Of the malevolence and deceit, brethren, of certain men he speaketh, who by adulation, though they know what they hear to be evil, yet lest they offend those from whom they hear, not only by not reproving but by holding their peace do consent. Too little is it, that they do not say, Thou hast done evil: but they even say, Thou hast done even well: and they know it to be evil: but their mouth aboundeth in malice, and their tongue embraceth deceit. Deceit is a sort of guile in words, of uttering one thing, thinking another. He saith not, thy tongue hath committed deceit or perpetrated deceit, but is order to point out to thee a kind of pleasure taken in the very evil doing, He hath said, ‘Hath embraced’.” (Schaff, P. [1997]. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Vol. VIII. Augustin: Expositions on the Book of Psalms. [187].)

Bible words for deceit:

From Hebrew root rāmâ, meaning treachery or guile (Ps. 34:13).
It is used of a witness, of balances and of a bow (Ps. 78:57).

It is expressed by several Greek words, e.g.:
- planē, ‘error’ (Eph. 4:14);
- dolos, ‘cunning’, ‘treachery’ (Rom. 1:29; Mk. 7:22);
- apatē, ‘beguiling pleasure’ (Mt. 13:22; Heb. 3:13; Col. 2:8).

Bible thoughts and verses on deceit:

Since the devil is the arch-deceiver (Rev. 20:10) his children are described as ‘full of deceit’, e.g. Elymas (Acts 13:10).

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Tim 4:1).

Conversely, in Christ’s mouth there is no deceit: “He (Jesus) committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22) and in the true Israelite Nathanael no guile, “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (Jn. 1:47).

“…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” (Eph 4:2).

“…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph 4:14).

enjoy, ron

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How amazing - during growing in GRACE und in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - His person and His work (because of God's MERCY this is never finished)- it is time to look at the darker side - PERCEPTION - DECEIT - held in tension by FAITH and HOPE.
Also this is God's MERCY alone: having my feet firmly planted on the ROCK - JESUS and my eyes and ears opened to HIM and not walking the steps of deceit.
I feel as if I am going to Seminary, looking up every vers mentioned and reflecting on it. The meaning in Greek opens up a new range of understanding - revelation?

I just wanted to express my thanks, Pastor Ron. How valuable has your blog become to me in the maturing-process!