Cunningly Devised Fables?
2 Peter 1:16-18
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we
made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but
were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father
honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory:
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And we
heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the
What does it mean to
One who is cunning is
usually clever or skillful. In
the Bible cunning people were usually good at deceiving.
Satan was cunning or subtil in the Garden of Eden when he
convinced Eve to take the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1). David's son
Ammon was crafty or subtil when he convinced Ammon to seduce his
half-sister Tamar. Absalom
was perhaps the master at cunning or skillful deception.
We read, “And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down
to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. In
this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for
judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel (2 Samuel
15:5-6)." And when he
was ready to rebel against his father we read, “And with Absalom went
two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently
and did not know anything (2 Samuel 15:11)."
In one case in the
Bible, being crafty or cunning or subtil seems to have been a good
thing. Saul called David
crafty when David was hiding from Saul (1 Samuel 23:22).
In war and conflict it seems that being crafty or cunning is a
virtue. Paul was charged
with being deceitful or cunning or crafty by getting messengers to take
money from the Corinthians even though he did not burden them
personally. But Paul
maintains his innocence and said that he never did that.
He never burdened them or deceived them but always tried to build
Truth is the
Foundations of the Gospel
The Lord is the
personification of Truth. We
read, “And the Word (the Son of God) became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Again we read, “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the
truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”
I am glad that the
Gospel writers left us with a true record of the Lord and of His life.
They were inspired by the Holy Spirit to remember and record that
which we need to know today. And
one of the things that we need to know today is that Peter was with the
Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.
He almost slept through one of the most profound events in his
life; but when he tells about it in his epistle, he says he is telling
the truth. This is important
because this event proves several things.
First, it proves that
death is not the end. When
Moses died, his burial place and body were not found.
He was never allowed into the Promised Land because of his
disobedience on earth, but he made it into the Promised Land after he
died. The mount was in the
Promised Land. Second, both Moses and Elijah knew all about the coming
crucifixion (See Luke 9: 28-36). Third,
we get a glimpse of the brightness of the glory of the Lord.
Fourth, we find out that the Lord is the One with whom the Father
is well pleased, and He is the one with whom we should be occupied.
This was Not a
Peter says tat this
really happened and that it wasn't a clever deception.
Neither was the resurrection a clever deception even though the
priests and Pharisees tried to convince people that His body had been
In a day when we
often cannot tell what is true and what is a clever deception.
I am glad that I have every confidence that the events that
Peter experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration were real.
By extension, I believe that the death, burial and resurrection
of the Lord were real. I
believe that the Bible is the Truth and that the Lord cannot lie.
As a result, I believe that the Lord put away my sin and that one
day I will enjoy seeing the Lord in His glory.
I believe that the promises of the Bible are bedrock Truth.
While Satan is very cunning in his deceitfulness,
the Lord was never crafty or cunning, the Lord's people should not be
crafty or deceiving nor should they justify those who are.
Our yes, should mean yes, and our no should mean no.
We should keep our promises and we should always do our best to
tell the truth. If we don't
tell the truth about practical things, how can unbelievers know that we
are telling them the truth about spiritual things?
for the week of May 7, 2017