Genesis 26:7-11: History repeats.

“7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, ‘She is my sister,’ because he was afraid to say, ‘She is my wife.’ He thought, ‘The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.’ When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, ‘She is really your wife! Why did you say, “She is my sister”?’ Isaac answered him, ‘Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.’ 10 Then Abimelek said, ‘What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.’ 11 So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: ‘Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.’” NIV UK

‘The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.’

Sadly, this is often true of personal histories. Isaac did what his father had done on two previous occasions. He sought to deceive. He lied about his wife. History repeated itself. A few days ago, I wrote about how Isaac made a good start. Indeed, he did. When God told him to stay put in Gerar, he did so. But then things went rapidly downhill from there. As was the case with his father, Isaac was exposed, and had to suffer the humiliation of being rebuked by a pagan king.

My wife, Jilly, and I were having a conversation recently about how ‘truth will out.’ It is common among worldly people to tell lies. Not everyone does, of course. Some non-Christians are more scrupulously honest than certain professing Christians. But many people lie as a matter of course. They may see it as being justifiable dishonest; perhaps explain it away as just ‘little white lies.’ But what this passage shows, and a lesson life teaches, is that you can’t keep all those lying plates spinning endlessly. Sooner or later they will come crashing down.

‘Truth will out.’

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’

In the New Testament the apostle Paul, both in Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3, calls for honesty as a definite mark of those who are ‘’in Christ’’ have a new nature. A truthful life, free from falsehood, is a sweet fruit of being rooted in Jesus.