«Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment» (Proverbs 12:19, NW).
Apparent differences Jacob made among his children aggravated the hostility Joseph’s older brothers had toward him. One day Jacob asked Joseph to go find his brothers. That trip would be terrible for the boy. Not even his desperate cries dissuaded his brothers from selling him to the Ishmaelites. But now, what would they tell their father? The only choice was to lie. And they did. They took the tunic and spread blood from a slaughtered goat on it to later take it to their father and coldly tell him, «We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?» (Genesis 37:32). The elderly father was devastated as soon as he saw the boy’s clothes. He lifted his face, bathed in tears, and exclaimed, «It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces» (v. 33). From that day on, sadness took over his life.
Jacob’s life changed radically. His eldest sons never imagined the pain they would inflict on their father’s heart. They only thought about satisfying their hatred and desire to take revenge. Joseph was alive! But they decided to maintain their lie. They chose to shatter the old man’s heart rather than tell the truth. The despicable way they’d behaved toward Joseph and the deceit they kept their father in for so many years marked their lives. They couldn’t be at peace. It would be a long time later, when they went before Joseph in Egypt, that they would reveal the effects of having acted they way they had.
But one day their deception came to light. Old, tired and sad, Jacob heard his own sons’ confession: they had deceived him. Joseph hadn’t died. They had sold him as a slave to some Ishmaelites and now he was governor of Egypt. The old man didn’t believe them. No more lies, please! They had to take him outside the tent and show him the Egyptian carriages that had come with them to certify they were telling the truth. Before his death, Jacob saw his lost son again.
Lies are a subtle cobweb that slowly wraps your life until it immobilizes you. A lie can hold up for a long time, but sooner or later, the truth will be known. It’s better to stay away from lies and those who lie. That way you’ll have peace in your heart. If not, you’ll some day hurt those you love most.