When a small child asks, “where did I come from?” you give an answer appropriate to age and understanding. As time goes on, knowledge and understanding increase and the child takes it in.
The Lord treats His people similarly. As they develop in knowledge and understanding, the Holy Spirit opens more and more to them. All the information is there but it is a tangle until wisdom and understanding provided by the Holy Spirit increase enough to untangle it.
It was different with Adam and Eve because they did not grow from childhood. They were created as adults and they were created “in the image” of their Creator. Understanding and knowledge were built into them giving them a clear picture of where they came from, of whom they represented in relation to the world around them, and of lives equal to their status.
They had it all in one breath. We take years to gain any insight of the meaning of life so a question often posed by those who lack understanding comes from the very first picture presented in Scripture.
Scripture says quite unequivocally that “God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good,” (Genesis 1:31).
So the thought often posed is this: “there was a tree of the knowledge of both good and evil in the Garden of Eden,” (Genesis 2:15-17), so obviously God must have put it there. Then He said “everything was good” so it is obvious that God created evil.
It is time to look at the facts about evil, where it came from and where it leads.
Through history there has been a line of people who cherished what is in our scriptural record of events. When it came to be documented through Moses, people still understood where evil had come from. As generations passed, that knowledge was obscured and so it was given to later prophets to further open our understanding.
Very few people can answer the question accurately, “where did evil in the Garden of Eden come from?” We need to “search the scriptures” for the full story of evil.
Psalm 8 repeats the story of early Genesis about the creation of the world, and Hebrews 2:6 tells us that man was made “a little lower than the angels.” So angels were made before Adam. Scriptures points out that there are vast numbers of angels who frequently visit this earth. Luke and John mention two angels at the tomb when the women went to embalm the body of Jesus.
When all of scripture is consulted, it reveals that angels already existed long before us and we read in Luke 10:18 that Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
This text tells us three things. Firstly it tells us that Jesus existed before He came as a child to this earth because He had already been in Heaven. Secondly it tells us that Satan existed before our creation. Thirdly it tells us that evil existed in heaven before it came to Earth because Satan fell from Heaven.
Scripture reveals that Satan was an angel who turned sour. He was of that wonderful order of created spirits who had access to the whole universe and to God. But this angel, Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12) said in his heart, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will be like the most High.”
Whoa! I will be like God? Lucifer wanted to be something he wasn’t. He wanted more, he wanted to be God. It was the beginning of his downfall.
Now let me ask, who do you think you are? Even more seriously, who do you want to be?
We are to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness as advised by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:33. In other words, we are to priorize our wants. We need to untangle our tangle, and my prayer is that you will explore more of the untangling with me.
Please join us next Thursday for Tangle Untangled, Part 2.
(To access the entire “Tangle Untangled” mini-series, please click here.)