Friday, July 28, 2017

Deceit in the Bible

A debrief after sermon delivery led to the need to return to the text.  One of the debrief points drew me to consider the chapter that proceeded the chosen text.  This had me considering 2 Kings 6.


Of interest, in 2 Kings 6, I found use of deceit.  It was a clever ploy.  The Prophet Elisha used deceit.  Elisha had called upon the Lord to strike the advancing enemy blind.  Once God had done this, Elisha told the enemy horde:


 This is not the road and this is not the city.
Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.”
And he led them to Samaria.


That is, Elisha led came to lead the army when he had been their target.  Elisha led them through the suggestion that their target was somewhere else (Samaria).  He then fulfilled on that suggestion by taking them on the road to the city where they may find him.  In verse 20, Elisha and the enemy are in Samaria and the Lord opens their eyes.  By the time the enemy opened their eyes they could see Elisha and yet they could also see that the King of Samaria (Joram) had them captive.


Now, Elisha was not lacking in truth when he offered to lead the enemy to their target.  In accompanying them, he stayed with them.  He provided means to trap them (verse 20) and to show mercy to them (verses 22-23).


There are other instances of deceit in the Old Testament.  Perhaps the most prominent instance is when the Hebrew midwives inform Pharaoh that they had not killed boy infants at birth for the “Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive”. (Exodus 1:19).


So, there is deceit in the Bible!  And, there is deceit in the modern world.  The Yes Minister television series used deceit as a bedrock of many programs.  In this episode an operating building had been kept under scaffolding to give the impression that it was not yet open:




Elisha’s leading of the enemy into Samaria is an important precursor to the verses that follow.  I will explore that in another blog post.  It all builds nicely towards the 2 Kings 7 story.



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