"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?" saith the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" saith the LORD." Jeremiah 23:24 (KJV)
I wish I had said it, but Sir Walter Scott gets credit for the line: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
Justin William Durbin understands Sir Walter's point. Not so long ago Durbin, who likes nice cars, made an appointment with a salesman from Ambassador Auto in Naples, Florida.
Durbin said he was considering trading in his Mercedes Benz SV on a very special, almost handmade $100,000 Bentley Continental GT.
The salesman, with the Mercedes as a guarantee that nothing fishy would happen, let Durbin take the Bentley for a short test drive. The short test drive turned into a long test drive. After he had waited ten minutes for Durbin to return, the salesman got worried, not so long after he called the police.
As of this writing, Durbin is still on his test drive.
And if you're wondering about the auto dealer, they still have Durbin's Mercedes -- the Mercedes he stole from an auto dealer in Missouri.
Now I would love to tell you that Durbin has been captured and is being punished for the tangled web he has woven. That may happen, or it may be the next time you hear Durbin's name is in a news report which says he has traded in the Bentley for a Rolls Royce or a Lamborghini. Who knows how long Durbin might end up fooling car dealers with his tangled web of deceit.
Durbin may fool car dealers; he may fool family and friends; he may even fool himself, but he can't fool the Lord. None of us can fool the Lord.
• Adam and Eve tried to hide their deceit when they hid themselves from the Lord.
• Cain tried to hide his murderous deceit by disposing of his brother's body.
• David tried to hide his adulterous deceit by camouflaging the death of a soldier.
• Judas tried to hide his betraying deceit by sitting innocently at the Last Supper.
Yes, we can try to hide, but the Lord has been quite candid when He said, "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?" saith the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" saith the LORD."
The Lord wants us to know He sees our deceit. No matter how ashamed we are of it, no matter how much effort we expend trying to hide it, the Lord sees.
But there's one thing more. The Lord also wishes to forgive it. To remove us from the web of our deceit, the Lord sent His Son into the world to save us. So that we might be forgiven, He ordered His Son to take our place under the Law and resist Satan's temptations.
Now to all who are given faith in Jesus as Savior the tangles are undone, the web is broken and we come together to give thanks that our deceit is forgiven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that in spite of my tangled web of deceit You decided to save me. By the gift of Your Son and because of the sacrifice He made I am forgiven and hold tightly to the promise of the resurrection from the dead and the life everlasting. In Jesus I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries