We don’t need to lie. We are safe in God’s care. We are not at risk—not the way we always think we are. We don’t need to twist truth to protect ourselves. We can trust our Father. We can trust our King. We can trust our Friend.
The root of our duplicity is something to consider. Think back to the choice Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden. The snake didn’t tell Eve to eat the fruit of the tree God told them not to eat. He simply made her doubt the Father’s goodness by first asking a question: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” That’s from Genesis chapter 3, verse 1. What’s the question underneath the question?
The question underneath is, are you sure you can trust God? Are you sure He’s good? His question is meant to stoke fear, create uncertainty, and sow doubt. Because if we think we can’t trust Him, the enemy’s got us. If we begin to believe that God isn’t good, if we believe He isn’t going to come through, then we’ll take matters into our own hands. We’ll decide that we need to be in control. And we all know where that path leads.
Eve responds by telling the snake, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.” And the snake tells Eve, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” That’s Genesis chapter 3, verses 2 and 3.
The subtext becomes even more obvious. “So you want to play by the rules, Eve? Fine. But just so you know, if you eat that fruit, you aren’t really going to die. God lied to you—because he doesn’t want you to be wise, like Him. He’s not who you think He is. You can’t trust Him. You can’t depend on Him.”
And Eve took the fruit, and she ate of it. And she gave some to Adam, and he ate it too. And, after eating, they saw their nakedness and they were ashamed. So they sewed leaves together as clothing and they went deeper into the garden and they hid.
When we doubt God’s goodness—believing Satan’s lies rather than God’s truth—we break away. We try to become independent. But we aren’t built to be independent. So, we just become dependent on something else—something that’ll ensnare us, lead us into sin, keep us from goodness and joy and peace. And from freedom. And then we have to hide. And then we have to begin lying to others, to God, and to ourselves, as a way to convince everyone that we’re not ensnared at all, to convince ourselves that we’ve got it all together.