Truth. The foundation. The standard. Without truth, man is lost.
In the land of Etseb was a righteous man; his name was Yabesh. Day by day he received sound instruction and wisdom from Emeth, his long-time friend.
“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.”1
Yabesh knew he must be strong. He knew he must persevere. He knew he must not waver. He knew he must cling to truth.
The days of testing came upon Yabesh. Falsely accused, he lost his job. His wife left, cursing God. His eldest son became ill and died. His daughter, living in shame, disowned him. His younger son could take no more and left to tend the fields of another—he declared, “there the grass is greener”.
The weighty burden drove him to the ground. Pounding his fists, Yabesh cried out. “Why do the heavens refuse to speak? Where is truth? The air no longer quenches my desperation for breath. How much am I to bear? I cannot endure.”
Emeth’s voice remained silent.
Pathah emerged from the darkness. Luring. Enticing.
“I have come to guide you. I can help you. Take my hand. Let me lead you. You can be happy. Come with me. I will take you. You will find peace.”
Pathah held out his hand.
Resistance melted like wax.
“Trust me, son, and I will take you down the broad path. Stay close. You will never know want again. Soon your burden will be lifted, your trouble past.”
Step by step the true light grew dimmer. Yabesh followed Pathah down the perilous road. Peculiar voices along the way warned him that danger lie ahead. Desperation fueled the journey. He took no heed.
A distant artificial light mingled with the darkness. Ill-tempered drumming accompanied discordant harmony in steady crescendo. In the midst of a sea of people jumping and dancing, Yabesh saw only what appeared to be the mere shadow of a cross.
A cavernous voice cried out: “Come, bow at my feet. You will be healed. You will be rich. You will be happy. Come now, all who want the blessing. Bow down. You’ll never want again. Happiness! Blessings! Prosperity! Peace! I have all you could ever need!”
People shouted with joy. The sound as the roaring ocean.
Yabesh was dazed. Bewildered. Stunned. Unable to discern.
The figure on the platform bedazzled the throngs. His words tickled itching ears. Multitudes fell at his feet as though dead. Dumbfounded. Seduced. Lost in clouds of euphoria.
Yabesh could not move.
Pathah urged. “Go, my son! Go now or you’ll miss the blessing. You don’t have to live this way. Go and bow down. That’s all. Go now!”
This isn’t right. It’s not truth. I need relief. I need happiness. I need help. It’s mine if I just…
Memories of Emeth’s words.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”2
Yabesh stepped back. Turning to retreat, the voice of Emeth suddenly stirred in his heart giving him courage to resist Pathah’s pull.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.”3
The faster he ran the louder Pathah’s alluring enticement became. “Blessings. Prosperity. Happiness. Come now. Don’t miss your chance.”
“Do not be afraid. I am your shield, your very great reward.”4
“You can have it all. Don’t leave. I can give you anything you want. Just bow!”
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”5
He turned to face the deceiver. One word—two divine syllables contained the power to stop the frenzied confusion. He spoke with authority.
Immediately darkness gave way to light. Confusion gave way to peace. Chains were broken. The voice of Pathah silenced. Only the gentle melody of Emeth’s voice:
“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.”6
No longer was his name called Yabesh. From thenceforth he was Aman, the established one.
Etseb - Hebrew meaning pain and sorrow
Yabesh - Hebrew meaning confounded or confused
Pathah - Hebrew meaning to allure, deceive, entice, to delude in a sinister way
Emeth - Hebrew meaning truth
Aman - Hebrew meaning to be firmly established, to believe, to be faithful
1 New International Version: Proverbs 4:10-11
2 New International Version: Matthew 6:33
3 New International Version: John 14:6
4 New International Version: Genesis 15:1
5 New International Version: Philippians 2:10
6 New International Version: Psalm 86:11-13
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