Driving along a stretch of road this past week, a corner caught my attention. A Bob Evans restaurant on the corner with a Golden Corral sign in front of it. I laughed out loud when I saw it and wondered how these two restaurants had allowed this discrepancy to occur.
At first sight, the signage looked deceitful, but as I looked around, I could see the Golden Corral behind the Bob Evans restaurant.
Perhaps it wasn’t deceitful, but it certainly wasn’t correct.
Deceit is such a devastating word. It brings to mind such evil connotations. It shows that someone is willing to lie to make someone else believe that lie.
God has a great deal to say about deceit. In my New International Version Study Bible Concordance, there are 65 references to deceit in some form. Deceit, deceive, deceitfulness, deceived, deceiving or deceiver. They all come from the lord and master of deceit, Satan.
Let’s look at a few passages where God speaks of deceit and how it can affect our lives.
Psalm 5:9 says, “Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.” This is a description of a deceiver. It isn’t appealing. It is not attractive. And yet, we each know someone who fits this description. A deceiver.
Jesus shares a list of evils where deceit is included in Mark 7:20-23. “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All of these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” These evils should not be in the heart of a Christian. These evils create unclean hearts. Unclean hearts break Jesus’ heart.
Paul and Barnabas encountered a sorcerer who was filled with deceit on Cyprus. This account can be found in Acts 13:4-12. “Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, ‘You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?’” (Acts 13:9-10) Paul knew evil when he saw it. He knew deceit was within this man. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, we too can uncover deceitfulness. Use this special weapon against evil.
Hebrews 3:13 reminds us, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Sin is deceitful. It tells us that no one will get hurt. It tells us that no one will know. It tells us that this little thing will bring us great pleasure. It is wrong! This passage tells us that we have been called to be encouragers. Encouragers for a purpose. To keep others from sin.
Deceit is sin. Deceit is evil. Deceit in any form should not be in our hearts. Satan will try to lead us in that direction and will bring people into our lives who live by deceit, but with the Holy Spirit, we can fight against this evil. Let no one deceive you dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
For further study on deceit, these verses might be helpful. Leviticus 19:11; Jeremiah 17:9; Hosea 10:2; Ephesians 5:6; and 1 Peter 2:1.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,