Cover-up

Cover-up.  When the truth is not told a cover-up always ensues.  When wrong is done a cover-up is close behind. Why do we cover-up the wrong we have committed?  Pure and simple-because it is wrong.  People that do the right thing by telling the truth, serving others, loving others unselfishly, being faithful in all things have no need to cover-up what they have done or said.  These individuals are humble in their actions and responses and may not want their good dead publicized, but they also do not need to hide what they have done.

Cover-up.  The scene in the garden between the woman and the serpent was not one of these positive situations.  The woman walked slowly down a path of destruction that ultimately ended in her eating the fruit.  It didn’t start by her eating the fruit, it ended with her eating the fruit.  The wrong that was committed started in her heart as the serpent led her down a path of destruction.  It did not seem destructive, but rather it was a time of searching for what she thought was truth.  Five minutes before the serpent approached the woman she thought she knew the truth.  She thought she lived in utopia, but then the serpent approached her and asked her a simple question, “Did God really say?” in that question what the woman had thought five minutes before was now put under scrutiny and the perfect environment became disrupted.

Cover-up.  As the woman slowly moved down this path, she ignored the truth that she knew for the appeal of what she thought she did not know.  Once the fruit was consumed, the cover-up began.  The first thing the couple covered-up was their bodies.  The next cover-up was when the couple heard the sound of God, they hid “among the trees of the garden.”

Cover-up.  As we move through the verses in Genesis 3, the man begins to answer God’s questions honestly.  “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’” (Genesis 3:9-11).  Theses verses show the honesty of the man.  God asked him a question and he answered the question honestly, but next the cover-up begins again.

Cover-up.  “The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’   Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” (Genesis 3:12-13).  The cover-up continues again.  The man does not want to be blamed for the wrong so he covers what he did and blames the woman.  The woman covers up what she does and blames the serpent.  Not too many people like to admit their wrong.  As it was in the beginning, it is today.  The cover-up of sin happens all too often whether on a grand scale or on a minute scale.  No one wants to found guilty of their sin so they hide behind the blame game, or someone else, or lying.  One sin seems to compound till there is so much sin the truth is hard to find.  Truth does not take any cover-up, rather it requires straightforward living without any need for a cover-up.

Cover-up.  Do you cover up the little things thinking it is only a small lie, a small error, or a small sin?  However small the cover-up a larger one usually ensues.  “Be sure your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23).

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Path

Path.  Do you ever get from point A to point B and you cannot remember how you got there or even when you started?  Maybe you do know how you have arrived and you look back over the events that took place and you either marvel at watching the hand of God move in your life or you regret every decision you made along the way.  My husband started a new job a few months ago and as we look back over the course of the last 4-5 years we can see the hand of God moving to the point of this new job, but also the many benefits along the way while following this path.  I have also witnessed the flip side of this coin and the path of poor decisions that resulted in negative consequences.  What seems good for a season only turns into a burden of regrets.

Path.  The woman started on a path in Genesis 3 that led her to a place of regrets that she carried and was reminded of daily.  God forgave her sin, but the burden of regrets was heavy as she had pain during childbearing, struggled against the thorns and thistles, and knew that the end was death.  These were some of the consequences that the man and the woman brought on themselves as they chose to be disobedient.

Path.  So how did the woman get to this point?  She allowed herself to be drawn down the wrong path.  First, she listened to a talking serpent.  Red flag #1.  Have you ever begun a conversation with someone that you knew ahead of time would not turn out well?  The person has a poor reputation, previous conversations have not turned out well, or the first words out of the mouth of the other individual were not a good introduction to the rest of the conversation.  Using the woman as an example from Genesis 3, we know the first thing we should do is run. This conversation will not turn out well, we should not even continue into it.  Run.

Path.  Next, the question from the serpent put doubts about God into the woman’s mind.  I appreciate a good debate.  A few months ago there was a debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, and their debate centered on evolution vs. creation.  Both were prepared for the debate, there was a moderator who kept things orderly, and there were guidelines established before the debate that also assisted in the orderliness of the debate.  Neither participant was taken off guard when the debate started.  Many times in our everyday walks of life, we are caught off guard by an interaction with someone.  In these situations we must run.  The woman, when she heard the initial question, “Did God actually say?” should have left, sought support, or sought counsel.  Rather than these options she entertained the question.  The minute something/someone puts a doubt in your mind about God, who He is, what He does, or how He acts; we must immediately return to truth.  The initial question, “Did God actually say?” caused doubt.

Path.  The woman’s response was inaccurate.  When we have an inaccurate response, a lie, we must realize that as another red flag.  After a few mistakes, we begin to think we have to keep going in order to cover our tracks or just get to the other side of this quagmire and hopefully the other side of this wrong path will not be so bad.   Yet, in our minds it seems too difficult to turn back so we continue, which is what the woman did.

Path.  Consider your own life.  Have there been red flags that you have ignored?  Where did it take you?  Was the sin only fun for a season, but the consequences of the sin outweighed the short term enjoyment?  We will continue our Path of destruction from the woman’s perspective in the next post.  Consider your path, it may change the course of your life.

Response

Response.  We know the question, “Did God actually say…?”  The response to this did not happen a few days later after the woman had some time think about what was asked of her.  She didn’t consult her husband and ask him what her response should be nor did she review with the man what God actually said.  The woman also did not leave the scene or tell the serpent to leave the scene.  This creature that was speaking to her was unusual and something out of the ordinary and should have been cause for caution; however, the woman had never had to be on guard or worried about the potentials of evil in a perfect place before this moment.

Response.  “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the trees in the garden,’ but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Genesis 3:2, 3).  If we go back to Genesis 2:16, 17 and look at what God actually told the man we find, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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.’”  This is the actual directive, “Don’t eat from one tree,” but the woman added to the directive of God and said they also could not touch it.  Now maybe this was a safeguard that the man put into place in order to protect them from eating from this tree or maybe the woman put this added restriction on the tree to protect herself.

Response.  In the woman’s response to the talking serpent, she shared with him part truth and part untruth.  In her response, she is not actually telling the serpent what God actually said, rather she is adding her own take on what God actually said.  She is adding to the words of God.  According to Proverbs 30:5, 6 “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.”  The hedgerow of protection that Even may have been thinking she was building around herself or the additional restrictive that she added to God’s original command violates these verses in Proverbs.  We are not to add to God’s word and yet that is what the woman chose to do:  add to God’s word.

Response.  Before any response, we should put it through the filter of the Bible.  Our memories are flawed, our judgment is flawed, and our emotions are flawed. Paul said it so well in Ephesians 4:14 “So that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”  We are easily deceived and must earnestly seek the truth and earnestly seek to live the truth.  In the midst of a situation, as the woman in the garden, it can be difficult to know the right response or the right action if we base it solely on ourselves, rather we need the truth of Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit in order to respond as God would have us respond.  It is never too late to start walking and living according to the truth.

You aim for nothing, you hit it every time.

We need something to guide our life. Without a guide for our lives we are living by the old adage, “You aim for nothing, you hit it every time.” If we walk through life aimlessly there will be no direction and without direction, you will be lost. If the basis for your direction is always wavering, then what direction will you be headed?
David said in Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” God’s Word, the Bible, can be a lamp and a light to the path of our lives. How do we know that God’s Word is an unwavering source of truth that will lead us in a clear direction and not like a leaf blowing in the wind?
Here are a few facts about the Bible. There have been over 6 billion copies of the Bible published. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors and yet it all fits together. Many events that happened in the New Testament were foretold at least 500 years before the event actually took place. The theme throughout the Bible is evident even though it was written by 40 different men. This theme is clearly seen as man’s problem (sin) and the cure for man’s problem (Jesus Christ).
So how do we know that “God’s Word is truth?” (John 17:17). There are 5 tests that have been used through the ages of time to determine the canonicity (a standard by which writings are recognized as Biblical) of Scripture. These tests are questions that each book in the Bible must be able to answer. Through the ages many councils have come together to determine whether the books included in our Bibles are actually the Words of God given divinely through humans as the expressed Words of God.
1. Is it Authoritative? The Prophets in the Old Testament were recognized as having authority by their characteristic words, “And the Word of the Lord came unto the Prophet” or “The Lord said unto…” or “God spoke.” Books that were rejected are fanciful and magical and do not have enough evidence to support their claim. “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22)
2. Is it Prophetic? In the Old Testament we see time and again things that were foretold come true in the New Testament. Isaiah writes about the coming Messiah as a baby in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
3. Is it Authentic? Many books were rejected by the Jewish Fathers and early Christian Fathers based on there being historical inaccuracies and moral incongruities. There must be coherence with books that were already established as books that were a part of the canon.
4. Is it Dynamic? Does the book come with the power of God? Hebrews 4:12 “The Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…”
5. Is it received? Has this book been accepted by the people of God. As the people of God met together to discern the truth did they see inconsistencies with the whole of Scripture that caused doubts in their minds?
These five questions are primarily used for the canon of the Old Testament. There are also five statements used to determine the canonicity of the New Testament. Those will be the topic of my next blog.
Overarching above all of these questions is “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16, 17). If the passages were not inspired by God than they did not come from God and they are not to be included in the canon. These questions have helped man to determine whether the words they were reading were indeed inspired or breathed out by God and written for man for “our learning” (Romans 15:4).

Ask Google for truth?

At our house we like to, “Ask Google.” If we are looking up what is the deepest lake in the world, or the largest mammal in Africa, or what is the Pythagorean Theorem; we ask Google. As I homeschool our girls, Google has helped me understand Algebra problems and Chemistry problems that I wasn’t quite sure how to explain. Google has even been asked some very funny questions like “What is another word for thing?” I am trying to teach the girls to be descriptive in their language and had banned the word “thing” from being used, so they thought maybe they could ask Google for a synonym to “thing.” I think they missed the point I was trying to make. Ah well, we are learning together.
Google is a great tool for finding the answers to concrete questions such as, “What is the capital of Michigan?” It is not the right place to go to find the answers to questions such as, “When was the earth formed?” or “Was the earth created in 7 literal days or 7 ages of time?” or “When does life begin?”
In order to navigate through life we need to have a concrete basis for truth. If truth is based on the postmodern mindset of “there is no real knowledge, but rather interpretations based on impressions, relativism, subjectivity, and constant reinventing;” then how can we make decisions, hold down a job, be a part of a lifelong marriage relationship, or be parents that raise their children? There must be some governance of truth, an unwavering source that provides guidance through all the decisions that must be made in life. If the theories you learned in Psychology 101 or Philosophy 101 in college have changed over the years and now there are new theories on how to live life or solve problems, then are the theories you learned irrelevant to today?
There must be a guide to lead us through life. A guide that is unwavering, that does not change through the course of time, and that does not succumb to the whims of man. There is such a guide, but man has been attempting for years to destroy it, disprove it, and ignore it. This guide is the Bible.
Everyone believes something; even if they say they believe in nothing that is something. Even if a person wants to be a free spirit and live by their own set of rules; they are still living by a set of guidelines…their own.
King Solomon in all his wisdom at the end of his life penned these words, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, ‘Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). King Solomon had it all…fame, fortune, and wisdom. Yet, after he had pursued everything that a human being can pursue to provide pleasure for himself, he came to the conclusion that all of these pursuits are worthless. What was important in the end was to “Fear God and keep His commandments.”
In conclusion, what is truth? On what should truth be based? Is truth variable or is it something concrete that is a solid foundation to the house of your life? Is truth something that will always guide you through life no matter the circumstances? My next post will review why the Bible is our guide to truth.