This past week the top American Newscaster for NBC news, Brian Williams, stepped down temporarily pending an investigation into his journalistic practices. In 2003 he was flying in a Chinook Helicopter. Another Chinook helicopter flying a completely different mission, in a completely different direction took fire. It took his production team, public relations team, camera crew and him at least an hour to get the the helicopter named “Big Windy.” When he landed what started out as a small half truth, began his downward spiral into self deception.
Nehemiah 4:3 “Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”
What initially started out as a news report quickly became a story of stolen valor. The newscaster began to fabricate his personal tale of heroism and attribute the actions of the other valiant chinook crew to himself. Nearly 11 years later, dozens of talks shows, and countless primetime newslots later his story grew into an embellished tale of his heroism of RPG fire. What was all the furore about? We expect our journalists to speak truth. They are supposed to be a source of information not disinformation.
Tobiah, as we know is a Jewish name, but his identity is now “the Ammonite servant.” What caused this? Nothing more than self deception. Sir Walter Scott put it this way:
Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive
What starts out as a fib to avoid persecution, “I am Ammonite, not Jewish.” Years later will lead him to a complete loss of honour and dignity. He even becomes mean spirited and mocks his fellow Jews, “Why are you building these rubbled walls? If a fox jumps on them they will fall down.” If you have ever seen a fox, it is a very light creature. The walls of Jerusalem we know from archaelogical digs are nearly 9 feet thick. There is now way a small and nimble creature like a fox could topple the wall with their little paws. His self deception was complete.
Jesus said, “I am the Truth.”(John 14:6). Truth is important because it grants us a sense of identity. Borrowed glories, conflated half truths are transitory and will be found out. We will be left not knowing who we really are. Jesus promise to us is that truth will undo the damage of self deception. Live in the reality of the truth of his love and care. Lay aside your falsely borrowed glories and receive the truth of his gifted glory.
“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32