BACK TO BASICS – THE ORIGINAL DECEPTION

Genesis 1 & 2 tell us that God created a world without sin, sorrow and suffering. A world that was only good, very good. A world in which ‘evil’ was just a word, a concept, that had no definition and no visible or tangible reality.

Our fundamental human awareness that something is wrong with the way life is, is a universal affirmation that this life of sin, sorrow and suffering that everyone of us experiences is not how it ought to be. Genesis teaches us that this is not what God created us for. The evolutionist however, denying Genesis, is left with no answer, except to say that the struggle that surrounds us is what it is, is what it has always been, and is what made us what we are.

But, whatever our belief, we find ourselves trapped: Everyone sins. Everyone has sadness. Everyone suffers. Many seek escape from this pervasive evil – into addictions, into self-deluding positivity, which is actually denial, into such frenetic busyness that we don’t have time to think about it, into hedonism (‘eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’), or, into the final escape, through suicide or euthanasia. Anything. Anything, to avoid the stark reality of our lives and of the world around us.

But the lack of perfection, the evil, the universal and ever-present sin and suffering, remain. It is still there, no matter what we do.

In Genesis 1 & 2 God and humans were at peace. Nothing separated them except the distinction that God is God, the creator, and humans are humans, dependent on God. Life was good. Only good.

There was no God/human conflict. There was no frustration, no discontent. In this original perfection:

Humans enjoyed uninhibited communion with God

Humans knew who they were – God’s creation, God’s children.

Humans knew what their identity and purpose were – they imaged, they reflected, the glory of God.

Humans knew that they were blessed by God.

Everything they were and had depended on God. In him and from him they lived and moved and had their being. Nothing else mattered. Indeed, there was nothing else, only God, the humans, and the wonderful, perfect world he created for them.

But into this perfect world came the tempter, the deceiver (Genesis 3).

He deceived them into being discontented with God.

He deceived them into being discontented with the way God made them.

He deceived them into being frustrated by the one boundary God had set.

He deluded them into thinking that there was something more – something more than what they already had, something better than being the image of God, something better than knowing only good, something better than the original perfection, something more than the word God had given them, something more than God himself.

But, when it is suggested by the deceiver, something ‘more’ is always actually ‘less’.

They knew only good: the deceiver inferred it was better to know both ‘good and evil’.

They were already ‘the image of God’: the deceiver effectively denied that grand truth by promising them ‘you will be like God’.

Within the boundary there was life: the deceiver did not tell them that outside the boundary there was death.

In their resulting discontentment with God, with themselves, and with God’s boundary, they reached out for the ‘more’ promised by the deceiver. In doing so:

They exchanged relationship with God for rebellion against God.

They exchanged the word of God for the deceiver’s lies.

They exchanged the original perfection for the sin, sorrow and suffering we all now experience.

They exchanged life for death.

They exchanged God for the deceiver.

And here we all need to be very careful. There are many today who, like the original deceiver, promise us ‘more’, and many of them are disguised as servants of the light. They try to make us discontented with Jesus and discontented with the salvation we have in Jesus. They lure us on to a promised ‘more’, but that ‘more’ is always less.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2020