Paradise Lost

Adam and eve post

I discovered a terrible thing about someone I thought was trustworthy. Someone who was a leader, a father, and a godly man. Someone who had a gentle spirit and reminded me of my grandfather. But now he is in jail. I am so disturbed by this, by the fact that anyone, even those who seem good or who are Christians, is capable of such evil. It’s enough to scare you away, to doubt nearly everyone you come by, questioning their thoughts, motives, and intentions.

The other day I was reading the Beginner’s Bible to Sayla. There was a picture of Adam and Eve in the garden: bright colors, flowing water, flowers and trees depicting paradise. And I started thinking more about this life Adam and Eve had, the purity, beauty, and bliss that encompassed them. They were in perfect relationship with each other, with God, and their surroundings. There was always fresh food, clean water, innocence, and peace of mind. They didn’t stress or cry or yell or lie. They had no need to.

But Eve had every need met and every desire fulfilled and she was still deceived by Satan, so how much more are we prone to wander from God? We are far from paradise. This world drips with violence, greed, immorality, injustice, and every other evil thing. At any given moment there are countless temptations drawing us away from the heart of God.

Satan convinced Eve that God, in forbidding them to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was really trying to keep her at bay, keep her from being like Him and knowing all things, both good and evil. Satan planted a seed of doubt in her mind that God’s word really wasn’t true, that she didn’t have to believe everything He said. Of course she didn’t realize she was being deceived: “What a nice tree,” she thought, “and it has food on it that will make me wise.” How lovely.

(Oh the instant gratification we are constantly being offered. This one thing, and you will be happy! You will be wealthy! You will be wise! But we never are. When we give in to the lies that promise satisfaction apart from God, we suffer in our separation from Him.)

The point is, there are so many things/circumstances/events in our lives that Satan uses to lead us away from God, to make us pause and say, “Hmmm, I know the Bible says that, but I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t think I can believe what He says.” Or to make us doubt the goodness and faithfulness of God, to question whether He really is for us. But worst of all, we don’t even know we’re being deceived. Because yes, Satan is the father of lies, and he really is that good.

So if Eve (and Adam) can be led astray (from paradise even), so can I. So can that person I thought was an honest man. So can anybody. May we never think we are too good, too holy, too Christian, to fall into temptation; that is a lie in itself. Instead, let us cling to the cross and our redemption. Let us pray the Lord guard and protect our hearts, that He restrain the adversary. That He not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. May we pray this for ourselves and for those around us, always.

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