Liar: “The first sin was not eating the apple,” says Tim Keller. “The first sin was believing that God was a liar.” As Scottish theologian John Murray reflected, “The denial is not then an attack upon God’s knowledge, nor merely upon his power. The tempter openly assails the integrity and veracity of God. In a word, it is the truthfulness of God that is impugned … God’s truth is his glory. The epitome of malignity is to assail this glory. That was the tempter’s strategy, and by acquiescence our first parents fell” .
Truthfulness: In contrast, the Psalmists celebrated the truthfulness and faithfulness of God: “Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob … Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way” .
Discouragement: All of us, however, struggle to trust God and his faithfulness. How can we move from thinking like our first parents to thinking like the Psalmists? According to Thomas Brooks, one way that we can increasingly believe in God’s truthfulness and faithfulness is to repent of our being discouraged by our sins. He says that, when we are overly discouraged by our sins, we are not looking upon the glorious truth of the cross: “[The believers’ discouragement] springs from their ignorance of the richness, freeness, fullness, and everlastingness of God’s love; and from their ignorance of the power, glory, sufficiency, and efficacy of the death and sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ; and from their ignorance of the worth, glory, fullness, largeness, and completeness of the righteousness of Jesus Christ; and from the ignorance of that real, close, spiritual, glorious, and inseparable union which exists between Christ and their precious souls” .
Prayer: Lord, We confess that we sometimes think that you are a liar. We hear the words of the evil one, saying, “Did God really say …?” Then we question your faithfulness and goodness. Yet we know that sin is built on lies. Therefore, we repent of our being discouraged by our sins. For we know that we gain freedom when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, not our sins. Oh, that we would know and believe this truth! Amen.