Friday, November 6, 2015

Lies And Power

It is no wonder that many politicians are liars. Lying is an extension of power lust.

"Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, 'Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.' But Naboth said to Ahab, 'The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.' And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, 'I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.' And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food." - 1 Kings 21:1-4 ESV

This is where is starts. The King wants something he can't have. People lie to add things to themselves. Convenient things like power or false peace. Wine and grapes often represent happiness in the scriptures. More grapes meant more wine. Ahab wanted to add to his happiness. There was no honest means to do that.

"But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, 'Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?' And he said to her, 'Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'' And Jezebel his wife said to him, 'Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.' " - 1 Kings 21:5-7 ESV

Here we see the birth a the lie. Reason dances with power and devises a method.

This whole chapter is worth reading but if I quoted it all here this would be a very long post. Jezebel promotes Naboth but she is setting him up to knock him down. Once he is down Jezebel presents the vineyard to Ahab her husband.

"Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. And you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, 'Have you killed and also taken possession?'' And you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: 'In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.'' Ahab said to Elijah, 'Have you found me, O my enemy?' " - 1 Kings 21:17-20a ESV

Ahab sees the prophet as his enemy that he must coexist with. For Ahab everything was a power struggle.

It is easy to detach ourselves from an account like this but we are kings also in our own circle of influence. Sweet little girls learn to lie. Timid young men do also. We all do. Some embrace the practice more than others but all human beings lie. All except One.

"I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, even when I spoke: 'I am greatly afflicted'; I said in my alarm, 'All mankind are liars.' " - Psalm 116:9-11 ESV

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - every one - to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:6 ESV

Powerful people lie but it is also not strange to see that the ones most angry at lies are powerful people also. Power. Morality becomes just another way to enforce order.

God has laid every lie on Jesus Christ. All human lies are already paid for.

Still lies hurt people. They are illusions crafted for gain, protection and convenience.

There are individuals that I know and love who are just not honest with me much of the time. They feel the need to project a persona. I love them. I realize the situation and greatly value them. My desire is not to get them to come clean with me. My desire is that grace would build them up to a point where the persona would melt away and they would be free to live in the truth of what God has already done on their behalf.

There is a little phrase I like... 'I don't do fiction.' It isn't a moral thing. Grace has made fiction obsolete.

The lie creates a covering. It reshapes reality by skewing perception. If the lie is believed there is a false sense of power and acceptance. People lie to impress. They lie to avoid. They lie to get.

The cross throws a monkey wrench into all of that. Human cruelty and God's compassion meet there and burst all illusions. The cross breaks things while at the same time it was the place where the Son satisfied the Father's need for justice and holiness. The cross disassociates us from false identifications.

Grace causes us to connect with a pre-creation identity that is outside of time. It is eternal. New. It is better than fiction. It is higher.

1 John 1:9 is our provision to confess truth and be cleansed. God is faithful to connect us to cleansing and disconnect us from the past.

Grace is God's method with mankind. Grace coaxes us into the light. The cross kills the liar and the rules written against him with Christ on the cross. God adopts the person who used to thrive in misconception and elevates them because they have a new identity in what Christ has done.

God cares for us. I sometimes imagine Him looking at us living in our small world of limited perception with great care and a kind of pity. We jump to conclusions and don't even know it. We rationalize and misunderstand so much. He knows what we are thinking just won't work. He loves us too much to leave us where we are but respects our right to make our own decisions so much that He won't override our will.

That is why Jesus came. That is why (in part) that the Father sent His Son. The truth walked among us to free us from all falsehood. In Christ the need to alter the landscape to gain an advantage disappears. God prospers us in our own vineyard and multiples it's harvest.


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