The news reporter has become the news this week as Brian Williams’ embellishments have seen the light of day. On the surface these embellishments look like mere exaggerations, but I think there’s more to it than that. A few thoughts:
- In Ecclesiastes we’re told several times that there’s nothing new under the sun and so it is with this current episode. It wasn’t that long ago that Dan Rather, another respected journalist, made up a negative story about George W. Bush at the eleventh hour of the 2000 election.
Or consider Richard Nixon: he had the 1972 election in the bag. There was no way he would lose. However, his pride and paranoia gave us Watergate and he left the office of president in disgrace.
Or consider David: he had everything; he was king of Israel. His people loved him. In his pride he thought he could have another man’s wife and get away with it and with murder. He was wrong.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
- We also read in Ecclesiastes that God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
Undoubtedly Brian Williams thought a little embellishment would go unnoticed. Nixon thought he could get away with Watergate. David went to extreme lengths to cover up his adultery.
God brought them all to the light.
Things we do in secret will one day be revealed. We all probably have experience with that; I do. They may not be revealed until we’re standing before God in judgment, but they will be revealed.
- Finally, I would contend that the love of the world or things in the world is the source of these things that were done in secret. It’s pride. We read in 1 John: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15–16).
Brian Williams, at the pinnacle of his career, acted on his desire to make himself look better in the eyes of the world—now he’s a caricature of himself. Richard Nixon, at the pinnacle of presidency, decided it was not enough. David at the pinnacle of his rule, decided it was not enough.
Jesus, at the pinnacle of His ministry, when tempted by Satan, replied Be gone Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve. (Matthew 4:10)
But, before we point too many fingers, it will do all of us good to remember that we’re all susceptible to temptations; no one is immune.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. –1 Corinthians 10:12 & 13