Friday, January 15, 2010

Broken Trust

So why are we not in a state of perfection, what happened to us that we find ourselves in these surroundings, instead of a world without evil? The simple answer is broken trust, but we will examine that a bit further. To set the scene you must remember that we were created in perfection. Adam and Eve walked daily with our Creator God who communed with them in the evenings. He setup a weekly day off from their normal duties to focus even more on the relationship with Him. They were surrounded by a huge variety of plants and animals (in perfect harmony), none of which ever got old, decayed or died. They were a happy couple, united in purpose, and truly enjoying the intimacy of their relationship without argument, or any other problems. It was literally Heaven on earth.

But prior to our creation, a dichotomy had arisen in the Universe. Lucifer (now Satan) had challenged the character of God – accused Him of being a tyrant who forced His own rules or killed the opposition. One by one, Satan presented his case to all the other intelligent beings throughout the Universe, but none chose to break their trust in their Creator. All other worlds kept faith with God, leaving our world as the last hope for him to gain supporters. We were the newest creations, the least experienced. Comparatively we would not be able to stand one-on-one with Satan and defeat him. So one of the first counsels we received from God was to stay together – Adam and Eve should remain in each other’s presence. They should not separate and find themselves alone in the garden. Together they would strengthen each other, but alone they may not be able to withstand what was coming.

God would have been guilty of Satan’s charge if He would not permit evil any access to our world. In order for our love for God to be real, it must be a truly free choice. If we chose it, God would allow us to choose to break trust with Him. He would not ‘control’ our free will or our destiny. God never forces anyone to serve Him. It is sad how many times, religious fanatics use the name of God to take the lives of those who disagree with them – when this is the farthest idea from the character of God. So Satan was permitted to establish a tree – aptly titled ‘the tree of knowledge of good and of evil’. Given that no-one in the Universe had ever experienced evil before, no-one really knew what evil was like. Every being had naturally chosen only good, therefore only really God understood the consequences of where evil would lead. This ‘evil’ tree would bear fruit. How highly symbolic that evil always bears fruit, or has consequences from embracing it. I’m sure, given how well Satan markets death to us, and sells it as if it were the greatest thing we could ever obtain – this tree was likely stunningly beautiful. I’m sure the fruit was easily accessible at eye-level, no work at all on getting it. And so Satan established his foothold on our world, and waited for a moment of our vulnerability.

And one day it occurred. Eve found herself both alone and near the forbidden tree. God had counseled our first parents to stay together, and away from this tree altogether. The eating of the ‘forbidden’ fruit would symbolize the breaking of our trust with God, and be an act of subservience to Satan. And here stood Eve. Upon realization that she was alone, she should have immediately attempted to locate Adam, had she done this, we would be living in Paradise. She did not. Instead she studied the forbidden tree. Studying evil never yields a positive result; avoiding evil is FAR more productive. She was drawn closer to the tree by a phenomenon she did not understand. She looked in the tree and noticed a snake. The original design of snakes included wings allowing them flight. They were considered one of the most beautiful creatures in the garden. But this snake began speaking to Eve. This was unheard of. The only creatures capable of thoughts, and speech in the garden till now, had been Adam and Eve. This was no ordinary snake. It was either a snake who had been taken over, or possessed by Satan – or it was simply Satan in the guise of a snake. A superior intellect, that existed long before we did, might have knowledge of how to manipulate atoms to reshape an object, or perhaps learn how to control a willing subject altogether. In short, a talking snake was in the realm of the ‘supernatural’. There was no logical explanation for Eve, and she was curious how this could occur.

Eve fell into a trap. You see, our enemy studies us relentlessly to determine our weaknesses. He flattered Eve with her beauty, then appealed to her reason, by offering her an easy way to achieve wisdom equal to that of God Himself. He used his deception to ease her fears. After all He was not dead. He was talking, a talking snake. It must be true what he was saying, as what else could explain it. Seems reasonable. How often does the argument to do evil seem reasonable? How often do we accept the premise; a lesser of two evils, rather than rejecting either choice and only doing good? How often does ‘evil’ present itself as the only ‘logical’ explanation, therefore declaring evil as truth when it is not? Satan was in fact calling God a liar. It may be that he implied God was not being straight with us for our own good, that He did not trust us with this information. Or it may be, that Satan implied God was jealous about His understanding of evil and did not want to share it with anyone for fear they would be as wise as He was. Both accusations were false. In fact, everything Satan has ever accused God with, he was guilty of himself. But Eve, alone and relying on her own wisdom, chose to break trust with God, and put her trust in what she could see, hear, and speak with. And sin entered our world. But it’s position of dominance was not yet completed.

Upon eating the fruit, Eve brought some to Adam, and relayed what had happened. Eve did not intend harm to herself or Adam. Like most insidious evil plots, the consequences may not be immediately seen or felt, but they come. Her motives were unimportant; her intentions did not outweigh her actions. And effectively Eve would be the delivery system of evil to the very one she loved the most. Eve was stained with the ‘AIDS’ of sin, and was now eager to give it to her husband, without even knowing. Eve was deceived. Adam was not.

Adam saw through the flimsy arguments the ‘serpent’ had made and recognized the fallacy of evil. He knew the real score. Now he was faced with a decision. Eve was destined to die. His wife, the love of his life, his soul-mate, the perfect woman he had grown to have the perfect marriage with was now destined to die. He could not imagine a way out of this situation. He knew God only spoke truth. If God had said not to do this, or you would die, He was telling the truth. Eve must die. Adam could not save her. And Adam too, for completely different reasons, some might consider them even noble reasons, chose to break trust with God. Had he chosen not to do this, we might still be living in paradise. God’s plan would have been put into effect to save Eve, and we would never have been subjected to Satan’s strong influence in our world. But Adam chose to love his wife, more than He loved or trusted his God. How often do we do the same? How often do we sacrifice what we know to be true for the sake of ‘love’ of a mate who does not share our convictions of truth? This is an age old problem, who has been claiming victims for evil ever since the start of our world. Better to trust God, more even than our spouse.

Upon eating this fruit, both began to decay morally almost immediately. They realized they were naked, and became ashamed. Instead of craving the company of God, they had put distance between them and now feared God’s presence. When He came calling in the evening, they were vainly attempting to hide themselves from Him. When asked for an explanation of what happened, they began by placing blame on other creations of God, effectively saying “it’s Your fault for creating this stuff.” That noble love Adam chose over his God went right out the window, immediately selling-out Eve as the reason for his choice. Eve blames the snake. And the snake has got nothing to say. The consequences were swift and immediate. The snake was cursed to crawl on his belly, his wings were removed, and he would be hated by almost every other creature in nature. The ground was cursed. Thorns, pests, and difficulty tending the soil would now be experienced. Death entered in the world. Animals would now begin feeding on each other. Our parents would be forced to leave the garden paradise, and wear the skins God gave them for clothing. God would no longer walk directly with man, as our evil could not tolerate the presence of perfection. A new method of worship and communion would be established (we’ll talk about this later). Having children would now be done in much pain. A woman would now be subservient to her husband, no longer equals. We would no longer have access to the ‘tree of life’, and with this separation, would grow old and as God had stated, we would die. What a horrific burden to bear. Imagine the guilt they would carry as they witnessed the results of these choices.

But all hope was not lost. God revealed his plan to man for the first time. God revealed to man that He loved us so much; he would lay down his life for us, pay our penalty, and restore us to Himself. Our world and our sense of morality would decay. We would be subject to the influence of Satan in our surroundings. But we could choose to put our trust back in God, and if we listened to Him, we would begin to reconcile again with Him – we would avoid our birthright of pain, and claim His gift of life, joy, and discernment. Therein lies a key lessen in our journey to discover our God, listening to what He tells us is imperative to our survival. He will not kill us if we disobey, we will achieve this goal ourselves. It is our misery He wants us to end and avoid. Remember He is saving us from pain and self-inflicted misery. Oh how wonderful we are not destined to misery, but have been reclaimed by Salvation…

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