I was talking to someone the other day and the topic of lying came up. He said “Where does it say in the Bible that lying is wrong”? I told him to look in Exodus 20. He was bent on challenging me throughout our conversation so he decided to look it up right there on the computer. When the scripture came up he was like, “See, it doesn’t SAY that lying is wrong” and concluded that being a liar was acceptable. This person, not a Christian, brought up a very interesting point.
I wish I would have gone back and talked to him about Adam and Eve. They got caught up in the same trap as this student. Let’s revisit that scene:
Genesis 3: 1-6
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
1Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Sin looks good. Sometimes it even taste good. Sometimes we seem to think in order to survive, we need it in our lives. Adam and Eve had Botanical Gardens at their finger tips and they traded it for a piece of fruit…
This student was trying to get to know me better but he thought that lying to me would somehow make me more interested in his acquaintance. It didn’t. It turned me off, actually.
I’m not comparing my friendship with the Garden of Eden, but I’m going somewhere. Stay with me.
Sometimes people like to take God’s word and play around with it; twist it and distort it to fit their lifestyle. Satan can be very crafty and he knew exactly how to get Eve to disobey God. He just changed a few words.
Last time I checked Genesis 2: 15-17 says: 15
15Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
What did the serpent tell Eve? “Girl, you won’t die! God just doesn’t want you to be as smart as him, that’s all.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. But obviously what God said and what Satan said were two different things, but Eve was quick to believe it because she was looking for a way around God’s command. They got out of it all right. They got one ticket OUT of the Garden and into a deep chasm that separated them from God.
So changing God’s word is pretty serious stuff. Even when we think we know what the Bible says, we need to go back and look at it again and again until we really understand. Don’t try to adapt some self-translation to fit your needs. You might just end up in a ditch.
Check out Revelations 22: 18-19:
18For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
We can’t chose to live our lives based on the Holy Bible of Allysen or the Holy Bible of [Insert Your Name]. God is pretty clear that it won’t work out too well in the end. But if you have been seeking your own definition of God’s truth, then it’s time to throw that edition away and get back to the basics. God’s word IS life. He gave up His most precious treasure so that we could take be with Him and take part in a life of complete freedom, joy and love. But the longer we allow ourselves to be deceived by our own desires, the more blind we’ll become to God’s truth.
More importantly, if we’re preaching a gospel that never originated from God, we must be careful not to lead others down that path. It’s kind of like trying to leave a dark cave without a good flashlight. If you have some cheap batteries chances are that they will fail you, but if you settle for the real deal, you will have a better chance for escape.
“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” Matthew 15:14
I pray that Father never has to say this to you.
Photo: Belize, Central America. By Mike and Theresa Harvin.