Deception


Why did you despise the word of YHWH by doing what you did, which is evil in YHWH’s eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own. You murdered Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites. ~ 2 Samel 12:9

For a bird larger than a goose, American Bitterns are surprisingly adept at disappearing in a marsh. It doesn’t hurt that marshes tend to be filled with reeds and other tall grasses. Anything shorter than the vegetation is basically impossible to see once it moves into the tangle of plants. American Bitterns’ invisibility is also a result of clever camouflage. The front side of their neck is striped in brown and white mimicking the surrounding environment. When they feel the need to not be seen, they simply point their bill to the sky and blend in. The placement of their eyes means that they can still see in front of them watching whatever they are waiting to move along. They are so confident in their disguise they will strike this pose regardless of where they are. I once saw one stop on the road at Plum Island and do its best to avoid detection by standing stock still pointing to the heavens. The deception was less than effective.

David exemplified the expression “it’s good to be king.” He had the power to steal a man’s wife by making his premeditated death look like a simple battlefield casualty. He was confident of his deceit, probably not giving it a second thought aside from self-congratulations for being so clever. But like a bittern in the road, or the emperor who has no clothes, his behavior was on full display. Or at least it was after Nathan called him out on it, causing him to condemn himself with his own words.

It is far too easy to rely on the answers we give ourselves that we really want to believe. Over-reliance on our presumed cleverness can quickly become a bad habit of thinking we are getting away with bad behavior when all the world can see that we actually caught in our own self-deception.

PRAYER: Holy truth-exposer, show us our first mistakes in hopes we will avoid compounding them with second ones. Amen.

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