Good defensive units in football confuse their opponents by showing many different lineups, leaving the offense wondering what to expect. Satan is just as devious in hiding the true nature of sin, so that we confuse evil with good and good with evil.
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 43-45; Hebrews 3
“You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to live there,’ 3 but Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.” Jeremiah 43:2b-3
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:12-14
Sin is deceitful. It appears to be good when it is really evil. The deceitfulness of sin produces a hardened heart that is less, not more, sensitive to temptation.
When Jeremiah gave the remnant of Judah the message from God that they should not seek protection and security by going into Egypt, the leaders responded by accusing Jeremiah of lying. They even furnished him a motive for lying, that Baruch had pressured or bribed him into giving a false prophecy from God. Thus, those who were preparing to disobey God attacked the messenger, rejecting the message and impugning his motives. They deflected their own guilt by accusing the faithful prophet. So they marched themselves down to Egypt filled with self-assurance and indignation towards Jeremiah.
The writer to the Hebrews warns his readers, whom he calls “brothers”, to “take care.” He is concerned that they are about to fall away from the living God as a result of evil, unbelieving hearts, hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. In today’s reading he describes various “faces” of sin: evil, unbelief, hardness of heart, rebellion, and disobedience. Our enemy does not want us to detect our own sin, but to see it as a good thing. God, however, calls sin by all those negative descriptors.
Are you taking care to not be deceived by sin? Let us “exhort one another every day” but begin by exhorting ourselves through listening to God’s Word. Take care. Do not be hardened by the deceitful and confusing faces of sin.