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Why God Will Allow You to be Deceived

God is a God of truth.  So it can come as a shock to us when we face the reality that God allows us to walk in deception at times.  Why is this?  Why doesn’t God simply tell us all we need to know to keep from being deceived?  This lesson from the life of Jacob gives us at least some insight into the question.

In Genesis 46:2-4, we read where God appeared to Jacob in a vision as he was about to head down into Egypt. During the vision, God told Jacob not to be afraid to go down; that He would bless Israel and make a great nation of him and that God would bring the nation of Israel back up again out of Egypt. Then God tells Jacob that Joseph’s own hand would be the one to close his eyes (in death).

Whoa!  Wait a minute. This is the first real confirmation from God that Joseph is truly alive.

For the last thirteen to sixteen years, Jacob has been inwardly mourning every time he has remembered his favorite son.  After Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, they wickedly conspired to deceive their father into believing that Joseph had been violently devoured by a wild animal.  The grief Jacob felt was immense.  It was real.  Yet it was needless!  Joseph was, after all, alive!

Yet God did nothing about this.  The God who had appeared to Jacob on his way to Laban’s and who wrestled with him on the way back, the God who had given divine guidance to Abraham and Isaac before Jacob did not appear in visions, dreams or through a prophet to tell Jacob that his son really was not dead.

One of the first lessons we see from this is that God will allow people to deceive you.  More directly, He will allow your children to deceive you.  That’s a fact.  Not that God wants His children to walk in deception, but at the same time, He has chosen to allow us — and those around us — the ability to choose sin if we so desire.  By allowing that choice, God also allows for the consequences that wrong choices will bring.  In Jacob’s case, this meant years of pain and sorrow in his heart for nothing.  It meant Benjamin growing up without having his older brother around any longer.  In modern terms, it meant having an empty chair at the table for every holiday.

The question “why” brings up the answer that Joseph himself gave to his brothers.  “God sent me ahead of you to preserve life.  It was not you who sent me here, but God.”

Ask yourself this question: If you had been Jacob, and if God had spoken to you in a dream or vision that Joseph was alive, what would you have done?  It’s pretty obvious what most people would do. They would have scoured the countryside looking for him.  They would have not rested until they had found Joseph.  They would have put the entire family on the search in order to find the lost son.  And in a human sense, rightly so.

But this would have been contrary to the will of God who had ordained that Joseph be placed in a position of authority in Egypt after being prepared for the role through adversity.  The will of the earthly father would have been for the son to come home.  The will of the heavenly father was for him to remain in prison.  How vastly different.  How wise God is.

So we learn another principle from this: it is not that God necessarily wants us to walk in deception, but it is our inability to handle the truth which very often prevents us from walking in it.  To know God’s plan for our lives — for the lives of those closest to us — would seem cruel and even outrageous to our warped view of what is best or even what is right.

And that is why God allows us to walk day after day in a maze of seemingly useless confusion, sorrow or hopelessness.  He is the God of peace, the God of all comfort and the One who alone is the meaning of hope.  Yet we can only experience those aspects of His being when we commit ourselves fully to His wisdom, love, mercy and faithfulness.

Psalms tells us that His tender mercies are over all His works.  Would you agree with that in the life of Jacob and Joseph?  Yet, it is still the truth, at least from God’s vantage point.

What can you take away from this story?  Several key points:

  1. When you see no rhyme or reason, it doesn’t mean that God has forsaken you.
  2. God does not always share with you everything that He knows.
  3. God is always trustworthy in every circumstance.
  4. People will break your trust.  What’s new?  You have to love them anyway.
  5. God’s way is the best way

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Filed under: Bible Studies, How to Walk with God

One Response to "Why God Will Allow You to be Deceived"

  1. toledogirl says:

    boy oh boy did I need to read this….

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