I was speaking with someone a while back when I made an unintended reference to a sensitive subject. Her response was, “Cute.” Did she intend to tell me I was attractive in a cute sort of way, as in, “He’s a cute guy.”? I think you know better than that; I certainly did. She meant to say that my comment was a devious attempt at attacking her position on that subject. In other words, I wasn’t being nice.
Merriam-Webster defines “devious” as follows:
: willing to lie and trick people in order to get what is wanted
According to the Bible, God doesn’t think much of devious behavior:
… for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
And yet, our culture values deviousness as simply clever or smart. In fact, it is the cheapest form of manipulation, and even though God said a devious person is an abomination, God’s church simply winks at it. Just look at two other sins that God calls abominable: homosexuality and lying. If “abominable” is a category of sinfulness, the manipulator, the liar, and the homosexual are all on the same plain.
Does God change his mind? Sometimes his actions give us that impression, but think about it. If you accept the Bible’s characterization of God, you know that nothing surprises him; he is outside of time, so as far as he’s concerned, all of time is now. He knows the end from the beginning. Also, he never changes. The theological terms for these characteristics is: Omniscience, and Immutability. The doctrine of Omniscience comes from Isaiah 46:9-10 and Psalm 139:4, as well as many others where it is implied. Immutability comes from Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 6:17 et cetera.
Yes, we are now under the dispensation of grace, which means, if we have obeyed the gospel, God forgives our inadvertent sins when we confess them and repent of them. Deviousness, however, is not inadvertent, but habitual.
We may wink at being “cute,” but does God?