By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Ploy to deceive is a tactic intended to embarrass or frustrate an opponent. In America, and elsewhere, there is a tendency to gain advantage through such a tactic. Character assassination is routinely used to demote a person's standing, position held, or sought after.
The Book of Ecclesiastes states: A good name is better than precious ointment (Ecclesiastes 7:1). Many have gone beyond such a stance as charges are being made against individuals; oftentimes without sufficient proof.
An example of a ploy (or trickery) to deceive played into the picture in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Representatives of Japan spoke of peace in Washington, D.C. while Japanese aircraft carriers were on their way to attack America's fleet at Pearl Harbor!
Ploy to deceive was when Abram had his wife pose as his sister to keep them out of harm's way (Genesis 12:10-13); Jacob's ploy (or trickery) was to gain his brother's blessing (Genesis 27:22); Delilah's ploy (or deception) was to learn the source of Samson's strength (Judges 16:16-17); and Ananias and Sapphira's ploy to deceive was an attempt to keep back part of the price of their property by lying (Acts 5:1-2).
Ploy to deceive has been throughout the history of the world; some remembered more than others, but all having the same goal to gain advantage through deceit.
The Christian has an adversity through the great deceiver himself; the Devil! Scripture refers to him as that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). Serpent connects him when the clever ploy (or deception) to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7).
Devil means slanderer and Satan adversary. There are no niceties in his description. He even attempted to deceive the Son of God; the Lord Jesus Christ, who countermanded his temptations with the Word of God (Matthew 4:3-10). Satan will use any means available to deceive; especially God's elect.
Scripture admonishes the believer to be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour (Peter 5:8).
The devil will attack a believer in a moment of weakness; with a ploy to deceive, as in the case of Eve. The serpent (a tool of Satan) countermanded the Word of God to gain disobedience to that Word (Genesis 3:4); which was costly to all involved, and mankind as a whole. Physical death played into the picture, contrary to what the serpent said would not happen (Genesis 2:17)!
Scripture reveals that Satan (or the devil) stood up against Israel, and moved David to number (or take a census) of Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1). Taking a census was not a wrong thing to do per se. God himself had previously ordered Moses to do so (Numbers 1:2-3). However, in this case Satan seized upon the growing pride of King David's heart, using such as a ploy to deceive, to trick him into taking a census.
King David's listening to Satan's ploy of deception was costly; for God sent pestilence upon the people and seventy thousand men perished (1 Chronicles 7:14). David repented of his misdeed and the plague was stopped (1 Chronicles 21:15). Scripture reveals that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Ploy to deceive is being exercised by many in our day; and it is oftentimes difficult to identify the truth. Politics have become of such a nature that it is difficult to know what a person truly stands for. An unknown author identified what would destroy a nation with politics being at the top of the list:
Politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.
A legendary evangelist of the first Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney, touched upon this subject as well, in saying: If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.
Many have allowed themselves to be controlled by the electronic age we live in; readily available are handheld devices carried about on a daily basis. In a ploy to deceive, by the enemy of one's soul (Satan), he is often in control as that of a puppeteer, to draw one into the sinfulness of man. It is a tool of value; but when misused, can become an instrument of Satan.
Scripture tells of those who need to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). It also reveals that to whom you yield (or present) yourselves servants to obey, his servants (or slaves) you are to who whom you obey (Romans 6:16). There is much that has captured the attention of many; but with little effort to rid oneself from its clutches. Such has become an idol to many; becoming the center of one's life.
Scripture admonishes the believer to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might; to put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Put on the armor of God denotes a sense of urgency demanding immediate action. To stand is to resist. The wiles of the devil refers to his carefully devised schemes (or ploy to deceive) believers in Christ. The whole armor of God mentioned is:
Having one's loins girt about with truth; the breastplate of righteousness, the preparation of gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and praying always (Ephesians 6:14-18).
Scripture enlightens the believer to the fact that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (or of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down arguments; and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
A ploy to deceive exists in the world today; to ward off any attempt towards the salvation of the soul, or belief in a Savior (the Lord Jesus Christ), to mask the realities of God's Word, to apply deceit instead of truth, to introduce the ungodliness of man rather than the holiness of God (Hebrews 12:14).
The miry clay spoken of in the 40th Psalm is that of a grip on the soul of man! But Scripture reveals that Christ came to preach the gospel to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted; to preach deliverance to the captives; and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are oppressed (Luke 4:18-21).
The apostle Paul revealed: If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are perishing: to whom the god of this world (or Satan) has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Do not allow the enemy of your soul to have a death grip on you; but come out of that miry clay, being SET FREE through Jesus Christ coming into your life as Lord and Savior! Today is the day of salvation for tomorrow may be too late!
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