I love a good deal. I have seen my dad make some great deals before, particularly with cars. Going and watching my dad buy a car is actually quite entertaining. When he first goes into the dealership, you can see the car salesmen almost feel sorry for him. My dad is in a wheelchair because he lost his legs fighting for America in the small country of Vietnam. When people first see him they see someone who is handicapped. I can testify, that he’s not nearly as handicapped as he looks.
When he goes into the dealership, at first he almost looks uninterested and like he would rather be anywhere else in the world than in that showroom. Then when a salesman approaches him that’s when all bets are off and he gets down to business. Within seconds, the salesman knows that he never should have felt sorry for him in the first place. I have literally seen my dad write down a figure on a piece of paper, fold the said paper and slide it across the table to the salesman. He does not hand it to them, he slides it, usually with two fingers. The salesman picks up the paper and writes a different figure and trying to keep up, he slides it back across the table to my dad. There are no words spoken during this paper sliding transaction. You can almost picture a man in the shadows looking like he just stepped out of the Matrix, with a dark suit and tie holding a briefcase, wearing sunglasses and packing heat somewhere on his person.
When I was in college, I needed a new dresser for a new apartment that I had just moved into and I was determined to call my dad and tell him that I got a great deal. I went shopping and could not find a particularly good deal. So, I thought I would try out eBay. Scrolling through, I finally found it, The. Perfect. Dresser. It had plenty of drawers and it was really pretty and it would match my furniture that I already had. Up until that time, I had not done a lot of dealings on eBay, but I thought how hard could it be. If dad can make the paper sliding work for him, I can make eBay work for me! The ad said that this dresser had free shipping (cha-ching) and the cost for the dresser was only $14.95, that’s right $14.95! I was stoked (yes, I just said stoked!). I was so excited about this great deal. I read the ad from top to bottom, all the fine print included. I was convinced that I had just found the best deal ever on eBay.
I checked the tracking number and I knew when it would be delivered, so I was sure to be home. It finally came, but not quite in the way that I expected. I opened my door and in my mailbox was a large padded envelope. I opened the envelope to see the contents and what I found took my great deal of excitement and slammed it to the ground. I had not bought a dresser; I had bought detailed plans on how to build the dresser. I was so disappointed and upset. I did not get what I was promised and I did not get what I was expecting. I thought I was going to be able to call my parents and tell them about this great deal that I had found but instead the old adage “it’s too good to be true” came into play.
What I had been promised was not what I got. How many times does this happen in our lives with sin? We think that our sin will give us what we want, and in fact it does just the opposite. Now don’t get me wrong, sin can be fun! The Bible tells us that sin is fun for a season and that sin is a fleeting pleasure (Hebrews 11:25). But when that season is over, all you’re left with are broken promises.
Looking back to Genesis we find the very first sin ever committed, Eve eating the fruit. God told Adam (and we assume that Adam told Eve) that there was one tree in the Garden of Eden that they were not to eat of. Imagine, she is in a garden, she’s surrounded by trees, she could have eaten fruit from any one of the other trees, but she was tempted by Satan himself to disobey God and to eat of the one tree that she and Adam were not to eat of. Satan told Eve that if she would eat of this tree, that she could be like a god. Satan is always sneaky and he’s always offering things that he cannot deliver.
If we allow ourselves to imagine us in Eve’s position, this all makes sense. At first glance, it doesn’t. Satan came to Eve in the form of a snake. Now, I’m a woman and I hate snakes, and if one ever starts talking to me, get out of the way because I’m bolting out of there. But for Eve, a snake was nothing to be scared of. Why? Because sin had not entered into the world yet, therefore there was nothing to fear. I doubt that Eve knew was it was even like to feel the emotion of fear, I mean come on, if they were able to walk around naked with no fear, surely nothing scared them. Perhaps all the animals in the Garden of Eden spoke. When we look at this story in the book of Genesis, Eve does not seem alarmed that a snake is speaking to her. So, she listened to what the serpent had to say. He promised her things that she wanted. He promised her things that she craved. He told her that if she would just grab one piece of fruit and take even just one bite that she could be equal with God and again this makes sense. She listened. She grabbed. She bit. And she knew. And we cannot completely throw Eve under the bus alone on this one. The Bible tells us that Adam her husband was with her and that he too ate of the forbidden tree. Their eyes were opened and they knew that they had just paid money for plans on how to build a dresser. They did not in any way get what they had been promised.
This is exactly how sin works. You may get what you want, but in doing so, you may lose what you have. Sin will always promise things that it cannot deliver!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”