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Published by Kelly Wilson on 17 Jan 2021

The Original Deception

Last Sunday morning (1/10/21) I urgently searched Google for sermons from Pastors that I loved and respected to hear a sermon or talk about the events that happened in our Nation’s Capital on January 6, 2021. But sadly I did not find what I was looking for. My own pastor said that he wouldn’t talk about the events that weekend. I was sad and disappointed and asked God for comfort and perspective. At some point in the week God reminded me of a passage in Genesis. It was the one where “the fall” occurs; the one where Eve is deceived and Adam chooses to eat the fruit with her.

I studied that passage trying to understand what happened to the pair, trying to understand how deception happens to me, trying to understand how so many people in our nation and around the world have been affected by deceptions.

I shared what I seeing with the small Bible study group of women that I have the honor to lead, and again with another group of younger women. I am now sharing these thoughts with you, just in case you too, are hoping to have some perspective from the word of God.

This is long passage… but worth reading so you have context. It begins with Adam and Eve in the garden. Maybe it was just a typical day, but life would never be the same. (Maybe Wednesday 1/6/21 started as a typical day. You went to work or school or were at home doing your regular tasks, but for some people, their lives will never be the same.)

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strikeyour head, and you will strike his heel.”

16 Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

17 And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”

20 Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. Genesis 2:1-21 NLT

This is a chilling event in the history of the world. If I were to try to summarize it I might say.

Adam and Eve had a deep relationship with God at first. Because of His love, He had given them freedom of choice, but also given them rules to live by that were for their good.

But an enemy deceived them, by creating doubt about God’s rules and His character. Was God holding out on them by not allowing them to eat from every tree? Was He is not giving them the best by sharing only good and withholding evil?

Eve believed the deception, and disobeyed God. And Adam, who could have maybe said, “no thank you Eve, my Love, I’m not going to disobey,” sadly did not, and he too ate of the forbidden fruit.

Because God is loving and just, He allowed all of the parties to live with the consequences that He had given in advance. He was merciful though. Adam and Eve would eventually die, they would return to dust. The enemy would eventually be defeated – but the resurrection of Christ. And death did come immediately into the world, to the animals, which were slaughtered for their skins, so that Adam and Eve would have clothing.

As I read and re-read this passage I am struck at the two large deceptions the enemy used:

1.  Encouraging people to believe that the truth is actually a lie.

2.  Encouraging people to believe that a lie is actually the truth.

The devil in the form of a snake, told the couple that they would not die, if they disobeyed God’s directive. He convinced them that the truth of God’s word was a lie.

He also put forward a lie, and persuaded them that it was the truth. The snake said, you will be like God, knowing good and evil. He made evil seem like a good thing to know. And they believed his lie, as truth.

As I think of my life, I have gotten myself into some of the hardest and most painful moments when I fell into deception. I am praying that I will be more vigilant in seeking the truth of God’s Word and insight from the Holy Spirit.

For those who stormed the capital, I am afraid that you were deceived. Even if you thought your cause was just, your approach was not. Sadly I have heard very few believers speak about this matter.

Deception was the instigator of the fall, which separated human beings from perfect fellowship with our Creator. And nothing but an acknowledgement of the truth, will open the door to redemption. Then and today…

Published by Kelly Wilson on 24 Nov 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

This is a different kind of Thanksgiving – because this is a different kind of year. I am writing this post to be your pep squad and hopefully idea provider, as you get ready. Even though it will be different, it can be really good.
May I encourage you to look at Psalm 136 NLT for inspiration to be grateful.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

The Hebrew word for “good” in this passage is tobe, which means good, pleasant, agreeable, excellent, rich, valuable in estimation, kind, right, glad, happy, prosperous. Sometimes I think of God as Holy – which of course He is. But as when I think of Him as this type of good, it makes my heart feel gratitude.
So even though things around the earth are really challenging – God is still good. He worthy to be the One we say thank You to.

This year because of the CDC guideline that it is safer for all of us to celebrate with the people, who live in our households, you might not have all of your loved ones at the table with you. So you can approach things differently.

You can turn up the fancy or turn down the fancy.

This could be year to break out the china you never use. Drink from the goblets your grandmother passed down to you. Get dressed up. But it could be a year to eat less formally. Make it easy. Change up the menu – my family prefers fried chicken so we have that with a small turkey breast.

I print these on card stock. They remind us to thank God for His blessings.
  • If you are cooking and this is not usually your thing, plan what you are going to have before heading to the grocery store. Once you write down your menu, think about what you will cook and what you will need to buy to make it. Many barbecue joints and local restaurants have great mac & cheese, sweet potato casserole and corn bread. Local bakeries might be thrilled to supply the dessert.
  • This is a great year to get the family involved with the cooking. My children (25, 23 and 14) play music on our speakers and bring lots of good energy to chopping, stirring, baking and cleaning.
  • In my planning I try to think about when I should cook the things so they come out about the right time. This year there’s less pressure because we’ll eat when the food is done.

I print these on card stock. They help remind us to thank God.

Make time to proactively spend time being thankful. Before, during or after dinner take some time to speak to God and one another about the reasons we are thankful this year.

  • After dinner, get help from all hands to cleanup before playing board games, making Zoom calls, watching football and napping.
  • Think about how you want to spend the balance of the weekend. For many of us, the COVID wise choice is chill-laxing around the house. But whatever we do – let’s try to carry the spirit of gratefulness wherever we go.

Published by Kelly Wilson on 07 Jun 2020

A most effective deception…

Racism is evil. To hate or systemically oppress a people group because of the way we look is of the devil. For skeptics, the events of the past several months in the US, should be undeniable evidence that racism is very real.

This hatred and oppression is rooted in a most effective lie. The lie is that there is more than one race of human beings. Yep… I said it and I imagine many of you are scrunching your faces in disbelief.

I’m writing this post from the vantage point of being a black woman, a descendant of: people who were enslaved in the United States, and of Caucasians who had children with these people and of Native Americans who married and had children with these people and of at least one brown Cuban woman who did not marry, but had a child with one of these people. I am quite like the majority of black people, who are really brown in hue, that I personally know who live in the United States. We are people with a distinct and tragic arrival to the US. We are people with diversity within our broader culture. Because of our complex ancestry we have a multiplicity of beautiful shades of brown.

My statement about there being only one race of human being comes from what the Bible says. And there is plenty of scientific data that says the same thing. The Bible is pretty plain about this if you just read the verses. But I warn you – you must put on your thinking cap.

The Bible opens with this declaration.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 NET

On day six of the creation story…

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NET

Chapter 2 of Genesis puts a spotlight on Chapter 1, giving us more of the details on how this event happened.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.” The Lord God formed out of the ground every living animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam no companion who corresponded to him was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Then the man said, “This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family. Genesis 2:18-24 NET

I know this is hard for many of us to fathom, but God fashions the first wife from the first man. It’s like He did a cloning of sorts. Did God give the woman Adam’s DNA but with female genetics? It is a miracle. But not as big a miracle as making a man out of dust and turning him into a breathing, thinking, loving human being.

Fast forward a bit and Adam and Eve have children. First there is Cain and then Abel. But later there are more children. And all would have Adam and Eve’s DNA. But really, all would have Adam’s DNA – because Eve was fashioned from Adam.

In fact everyone – at that point would have been coming from a very tight gene pool. Adam.

Now I personally cringe at the thought of the boys in the family marrying the girls in the family. But God either made that acceptable during the early years of the earth. Or maybe God fashioned a wife, from a husband on more than one occasion. Either way, there is only one “race” of human beings. And we don’t know what their appearance was when the earth was new.

Ironically, more evidence is found about Adam’s family in the third chapter of Luke as Dr. Luke gives a reverse order of the genealogy of Jesus.

…the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Luke 3:36-38 NET

I shared the bottom part of the genealogy list just to show that the connection between Adam, Noah and Noah’s son Shem, along with acknowledging all of the corresponding mothers that are still related in some way to Adam. I mention Noah and Shem specifically because there is going to be a big situation coming, but according to the list above, at that point there is still only one race of human beings who all came from Adam.

The big situation is called the great flood. It is described in Genesis 6. God was so grieved by the evil all over the earth that He choose to start over. (I suspect that God is grieved by evil today and I am so grateful that He promised that He would not send another flood of that magnitude.) Thankfully God saves an extended family to begin again. That family belongs to Noah, Adam’s “grandson.”

The Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for I consider you godly among this generation. Genesis 7:1 NET

On that very day Noah entered the ark, accompanied by his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, along with his wife and his sons’ three wives. Genesis 7:13 NET

God showed great mercy and grace to those eight human beings. He kept them throughout the flood, allowing them to be the ones repopulate the earth. And… they were all pretty near descendants of Adam.

But wait… some of you say, what about the tower of Babel. So let’s read it together:

The whole earth had a common language and a common vocabulary. When the people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” (They had brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise we will be scattered across the face of the entire earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people had started building. And the Lord said, “If as one people all sharing a common language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be beyond them.

Come, let’s go down and confuse their language so they won’t be able to understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there across the face of the entire earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why its name was called Babel – because there the Lord confused the language of the entire world, and from there the Lord scattered them across the face of the entire earth. Genesis 11:1-18

Because the human race was seeking to build for its own glory and purposes God gave people different languages and this did serve as a barrier. But, I still see no new “races” being created.

The concept of race as it is used today, began with the colonization of the United States. It was established to allow one group of people to treat another group of people as less than human for personal and corporate gain. It would have been impossible to treat an equal human being as an animal if they were not of a  “different” – really meaning “inferior” race. Just as with many recent examples one could not murder another human with malice and no just cause, unless his or her skin color or hair color or way of being, were not of a different, meaning inferior, race.

And the devil wants nothing more for us human beings to keep behaving this way because it grieves the heart of our Maker.

One of my favorite verses is written by the Apostle John as he sees a vision of the heavenly realm. He writes about this in Revelation 7:9.

After these things I looked, and here was  an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe,people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands. (NET)

In this passage God is confirming that even in heaven we will be able to tell what people look and sound like… and these distinctions are certainly real and maybe even create challenges on earth that we must work through. But race is not listed, though we have accepted and talk about this concept often. It is lie that there is more than one human race.

As I finished this post… I am including an excerpt and link to a blog post from Vivian Cho, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School.

She writes, “The popular classifications of race are based chiefly on skin color, with other relevant features including height, eyes, and hair. Though these physical differences may appear, on a superficial level, to be very dramatic, they are determined by only a minute portion of the genome: we as a species have been estimated to share 99.9% of our DNA with each other. The few differences that do exist reflect differences in environments and external factors, not core biology.” Science is consistent with what the Bible says.

We are all Adam’s children.

And because of such, when you ask, you don’t want to know my race. You can assume I am a human being. But you may want to know my people group, tribe, nationality or language. And I lobby now to change every document that asks for a person’s race. Let’s assume the person is a human and then ask the other questions.

We can fight racism more effectively – if we can bring truth to the lie.

More food for thought…

If there are different races of humans, why can people receive a blood transfusion from anyone who has the same blood type?

The same for organ donation… shouldn’t a person need to get a kidney from a person of the same – ethnicity?

If there are different races of people – why can they successfully have children together? And then those children can have children?

For the Bible scholars who are thinking, what about Nephilim; these beings are listed in Genesis 6 which occurred before the flood. I am thinking that God called Noah’s family “godly” and they did not have any Nephilim genes to take forward into the new world.

I close this long post, using words from the Apostle Paul as a prayer… For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:26-28 NLT

These words don’t mean that the distinctions don’t exist – or shouldn’t be seen. Instead they should be seen and valued knowing that Christ brings us together into His and Adam’s family.

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