“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” — 1 John 4:1
A fake punt occasionally turns into a first down when a football team needs a spark and is struggling on offense. Some trickery is within the rules and not harmful to anyone. The run-pass option keeps the defense off balance and gives the offense more opportunities.
However, many people suffer much harm in real life through deception. As mosquitoes sting us on a hot, summer night, we’ve all experienced pain and suffering when we realize somebody deceived us. Thus, we need wisdom and should check out everything thoroughly before making decisions.
When Solomon spoke about nothing new happening, he knew every generation makes new inventions but he was describing how human nature is the same in all generations. In the first book of the Bible, more than one person lost property and peace of mind when they believed a lie. For example, Rebekah and Jacob cooked up a scheme to steal Esau’s inheritance. They took advantage of Isaac’s poor eyesight as thieves often take advantage of people’s weaknesses today.
“Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with goatskins. Then she handed her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. He went to his father and said, ‘My father.’ ‘Yes my son,’ he answered. ‘Who is it?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn'” (Genesis 27:15-19).
Though we may think we are too smart to ever get conned by a liar, even the strongest and wisest spiritual leaders fall prey to deception every once in a while, like when Joshua was tricked by the Gibeonites. Therefore, we all need to be prayerful and careful because the devil continuously stirs up schemes to steal everything that is valuable to us. “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania
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