Summary: Why is there so much trouble in the world and trouble in our lives? The trouble that we experience is just symptomatic of a single underlying problem that has become somewhat of a dirty word!
Far From Home
Why is there so much trouble in the world? Why are there wars, murders, divorce, sickness, death, unrest, disappointment, depression, addiction, earthquakes, tornadoes, drought and famine? And you could go on and on, seemingly without end. The answer is clearly in Genesis 3:1-7:
1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
(Many scholars today say that the translation for “serpent” actually should be “the shining one” because the root verb actually means “to shine”. Talking animals are a rarity, although God can cause anything to happen. God opened the mouth of Balaam's donkey in order to have the animal speak to him in Numbers 22. In any case, the “serpent” here is the chief devil, being more crafty than any other.
Revelation 12:9, in speaking of satan’s expulsion from Heaven, says: “The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Being hurled out of his heavenly home, he made the earth a place to raise havoc for the time being, but only by God’s permission. The world actually recognizes his influence because snakes have become the universal symbol of Satan.
Throughout biblical history, all snakes or serpents are a picture of “evil”, just as pigs represent the “unsaved” or “unclean”, “wolves” are vicious people, and “sheep” are the image of believers in Christ.)
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
This same story has “played out” millions times in history, probably even millions of times in your own life. It is actually the serpent’s sad scenario. Oh, you aren’t approached by a snake-like creature, if indeed, that is the image that God allowed satan to assume for this occasion, but every human being has been deceived by the devil, within and without.
The devil comes to us and masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) He floods us, not with light which provides life, but he tries to immerse us with lies. “Did God really say? The devil douses us with inward doubt of God’s Divine Love. He tries to deceive us into doubting the word, the Truth and the very character and nature of God.
You might think for a moment that the devil doesn’t do that to you, but that is one of the lies that he wants you to believe. He wants you to believe that you are in control, and that he can have no effect on you, but he has perfected his skill with far more expertise than when he first came to “the woman” in the Garden of Eden and has been exercising his “craft” for many more years than you have been alive!
When the devil came to Eve, she was innocent: Did you ever think of that? She was without sin. Today, everyone born is sinful by nature, and so we are most often tempted from within, not without. You might be thinking: Why didn’t God just cause her to do the right thing? Why all the pain and misery? I don’t have a “logical” answer to the question, but I know that God does all things well. God did not create us as His human robots, but He created us with the capacity to be “temptable” and Jesus was also “temptable” but without sin. He created us as His image bearers, and we cannot argue about that truth without questioning the truth of His love for us. He did not create us in order to sin, but to reflect His character (to give Him glory).
Proverbs 14:12 says: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” That’s is what the devil wants us to do: He wants us to doubt God’s Creative Power and Purpose and think that God somehow made a mistake, and to go in that direction we will inevitably question His Perfect Love.