Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 14, 1970

The Sweet Bread Of Deceit

Bill Moseley

"Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel" (Prov. 20:17, KJV)

In the above passage, the wise man states a well-known fact. We are told that the word "deceit" here is literally "falsehood," and is so rendered in the ASV. Men like to hear falsehood — but in the end, the falsehood does them no good. The truth with its enlightening influence is something that many do not like. It is not "sweet" to them, for it exposes their wickedness. But when they hear lies, they consider them sweet. They will take them in as bread, but finally they find that their "bread" has no value; no nourishment. They may as well have eaten gravel.

As I reflected upon this statement, I thought how true it is in religion today. The denominationalist doesn't like to hear the truth on the establishment, work and worship of the church. Somebody has told him to just take "the church of your choice." This is sweet bread to him, and he relishes it. In reality, it is the "bread of deceit." The Lord's plan concerning the church doesn't appeal to him. He likes a religion that he can take or leave; practice or neglect as it suits him. He likes to be told that he can be saved by faith only, and the reason he likes it is because it enjoins no work or action upon him. He savors this "bread of deceit." What will his end be? When at last the time comes for his bread to give him nourishment, he will find none. To his dismay, that which was so good and sweet at the time turns out to be gravel! There is no nourishment about it.

What of some Christians? Some are constantly eating of the bread of deceit. Yes, even God's people want what is not good for them. God told the prophet to record in a book that his people had become "lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord." (Isa. 30:8-9) Why did God so describe Israel? Simply because they desired the bread of deceit. They said, "prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits." (Isa. 30:10) The church today contains such people. They want a preacher that will "prophesy deceits." They shake his hand, pat his spineless back and extol his great preaching ability! They want to feast on bread which is of no value to them. They are just like the child who wants to feast on candy when he should be eating meat. Paul told Timothy that some would "heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." (2 Tim. 4:3) Such brethren can usually find a teacher who will scratch their ears. But when the time comes for the accounting of all things, they are going to find their mouths "filled with gravel." They are going to reap the results of not demanding sound, forthright, faithful declarations of God's truths — regardless of how "hard" they might be!

The acceptance of lies is no better than the telling of them. One who asks for and desires the "sweet bread of deceit" is no better than he who provides such bread. Men need to desire the "sincere milk of the word." (1 Pet. 2:2) Indeed that word may not always be easy to accept, for it will expose sin in the lives of people. But in the end, it will produce life eternal. Man cannot live upon the bread of deceit, for sweet as it may seem at the time, it's lasting value is no greater than that of gravel.

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