Unmasking the Deceiver

The story of the first sin in the book of Genesis exposes the serpent as the deceiver.  He deceived Eve by causing her to question God’s intentions for her and Adam.  The good news is that this story also contains the first prophecy regarding the One Who will save us from the deceiver.  Genesis 3:15 expresses God’s judgment on the serpent:  “And I will put enmity between you [the serpent/deceiver] and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”  The Seed of the woman refers to the promised Messiah, Who came to save us from sin.  Part of our role as followers of Jesus is to recognize the enemy and expose him as the deceiver.

The process and power of unmasking the deceiver is  beautifully illustrated in the story of Jael in the fourth chapter of Judges.  Jael and her husband had moved away from the rest of his tribe (a group of people historically in alliance with Israel) and had made friends with Jabin, king of the Canaanites.  When Deborah and Barak were making war on Jabin’s troops, God gave the enemy armies into Barak’s hands, but  Sisera (the general of Jabin’s armies) escaped on foot and fled to a place of safety, the tent of his friends, Jael and Heber.  Jael greeted Sisera and invited him in to rest.  She showed great hospitality to him, serving him milk and allowing him to lie down to rest.  Jael, however, also recognized a very important truth about this “friend”:  she discerned that he actually was NOT her friend, but her enemy!  When Sisera was asleep, Jael picked up a tent peg and hammer, crept up to him, and drove the peg through his head.

Jael’s story is a prophetic picture of what Jesus did for us on the cross:  he unmasked the deceiver, disarmed him, and defeated him (see Colossians 2:13-15).  In fact, it is very interesting that the word used for the cross in the Hebrew translation of the New Testament (pronounced yah-tade) literally means “crucifixion stake” and is the same word used for Jael’s tent peg.  What a perfect reminder that the TRUTH of the cross of Jesus Christ has the power to crush the head of the deceiver!

When we begin to question what God has spoken to us through His Word or to have doubts about the goodness of His plans for us, the enemy is always at work.  He tries to masquerade as our friend and stirs us up to believe things about God, other people, and ourselves that are perversions of actual fact.  The Lord does not want us to be ignorant of the deceiver’s tricks; rather, He wants us to expose the liar by opening our hearts and minds to receive the Truth.  The Truth is a Person, One with the power to destroy the deceiver and nullify his power.  Ask God to expose the areas where you are believing lies rather than His truth and allow Him to bring fresh life, hope, and joy to you!

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