Vermont Cherries

A man from Vermont wrote circus owner P. T. Barnum offering a cherry-colored cat for $100. Barnum, always on the lookout for rare attractions for his “Greatest Show on Earth,” replied that he would send the money if the man guaranteed the cat was genuine. Barnum didn’t want an artificially cherry-colored cat. When Barnum received the guarantee, he sent the money and shortly afterward received a small crate. When Barnum opened it, a black cat jumped out. A ribbon tied around the cat’s neck held this note: “Up in Vermont the cherries are black!”

Most of us have practiced the art of deception at one time or another. King David did. His deception began on a rooftop of his palace. Although a war was going on, David remained home. He’d conquered many foes. He’d been a great warrior. But his youth was becoming a faraway memory, as each new day made him a little pudgier around the middle.

David longed for something different. So when he saw a beautiful woman – another man’s wife – bathing, he sent for her. The first deception happened when David convinced himself that he could actually get away with this kind of activity. The deception continued when David schemed and told lies to cover up the adulterous affair. But David’s deception reached a peak when he ordered the murder of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband.

This story presents a bleak picture of the one who was called the “man after God’s own heart.” However, we can also find hope in David’s story. He eventually ended the deception by bringking it all into the light. Life went forward. However, David suffered grave consequences – his family was never the same after this incident was exposed. Deception’s sting has a far-reaching effect.

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