Bum’s Rush

It all began with Adam and Eve. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to the garden of low-hanging fruit. Of course in Matthew 7, it reads a little bit differently, “For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.” The low-hanging fruit part of the sentence above refers to the fact that in our society it’s made virtually effortless for us to take the path of least resistance, chasing the passions of the flesh, which, being contrary to the Spirit of God, leads to destruction and death. It is this path of false promise, as Aldous Huxley pointed out in Brave New World, of phantom comfort and happiness, rather than truth and beauty, the high-hanging fruit, that we ardently pursue.

And while most Christians probably would claim they wouldn’t have disobeyed God’s command and eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the current state of affairs in our society says otherwise. [See the Feature article, Our Corrupted Compass]. For we do as Eve did, we eat in the garden of low-hanging fruit. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her and he did eat.” [Gen. 3:6].

Eve and Adam must have thought, “We touched it, and ate it, and we didn’t die like God said. Hmm, the serpent must be right.” Their gullibility coupled with an incorrect interpretation of the timing factor regarding the cause and effect of God’s word is the same today. We don’t take God at his word. And because we don’t immediately drop dead being idolatrous or adulterous [unless a shotgun wielding spouse is involved] or whatever else we decide to do, we figure, “Ha, this seems good to me. These Bible-thumpers got it all wrong. In fact, God probably doesn’t even exist.”

The reasons why Eve, and then Adam made the decision to eat the low-hanging fruit of the forbidden tree are about the same as our reasons for succumbing to the desires of the flesh, those things that are pleasant to the eye, and make us happy, and wise in the ways of this world. Eve took this deceitful path and then justified her fail with an excuse, “The serpent beguiled me. I was tricked. It’s not my fault!” So God answered Eve, saying, “Well, in that case, it’s okay.” As we know, that’s not exactly how it turned out. God gave Adam and Eve the old bum’s rush … they were unceremoniously kicked out of the garden in Eden. Eden in Hebrew means pleasure. And they died as God said, but not before experiencing a lot of avoidable pain and suffering in their lives.

This is a lesson we need to heed in our day and age. We’re duped by the abundance of low-hanging fruit eagerly pushed upon us in our society. “Be sexy, have fun, buy what we’re selling!” Therefore, we seek the so-called good life. With sheep, this is akin to fattening the sheep for the slaughter, making sure they are well fed, and comfortable. Our seductive and addictive technology, and the diversions in life that occupy our minds keep us complacent and away from the truth of the word of God, our high-hanging fruit.

And who is it that we avidly follow to the intersection of Widegate and Broadway? In response to a remark by Peter, Christ said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” [Mat. 16:23]. Ubiquitous thoughts of low-hanging fruit saturate our daily lives. Just watch television, open a magazine, or listen to the "music" being produced.

Now when Eve took a bite of the low-hanging fruit, probably the last thing she expected was the bum’s rush, getting kicked out of the garden in Eden, and suffering the needless pain of the life she was about to embark upon. But, it’s the same today. We go about living our secular and religious lives as we see fit, judging for ourselves what is good and what is not, expecting the low-hanging fruit we harvest to bring us happiness and joy, when in reality we’re laboring in vain. [See the Sneaker’s article, The Church Of No God].

When we look at the world we live in, our eroding society in particular, not surprisingly we see pain and suffering increasing all around us. And because it worsens gradually, we accept our preventable predicament as the new normal. Eve, on the other hand, got an abrupt and jarring awakening. But as the prophecies tell us, we are about to get our own bum’s rush. It’s called the time of Jacob’s trouble or more commonly, the Apocalypse.

From time to time, there are bursts of tragedy that punctuate our anesthetized descent along the broad way to the new normal. And so often at times like this, when reaping what we have naively sown, we raise inane questions, “Where was God? Why did God let this happen?” [For the answer, read Micah 3:1-9]. One can almost hear Eve saying the same thing. “God, where were you? Why did you let the serpent trick me? It’s not my fault I ate that fruit. I take no responsibility for my actions.”

Reflecting on the destruction of our current day society with our families rent by contention and division, violence increasing throughout our nation, and the vital moral fabric of society ripped apart like flesh from bone, one US pastor put forth a national prayer. It said in part, ”Lord, we need your help … You can bless us and help and revive our country … we ask that You would exalt our country again.” He might as well be saying, “God, we sort of forgot about your commandments, so you need to help us. It’s not our fault we’ve become adulterers, murderers and idolaters.” Like Eve, he’s essentially claiming that we’ve been hoodwinked. And like Eve, Christians are not expecting the bum’s rush either. [See Jer. 30:12-15; also the Feature article, Christ Against Christians?].

However, as the apostle Paul pointed out, “Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” [Gal. 6:7]. We are reaping what we have sown, and we will continue to do so unless we stop our pursuit of low-hanging fruit. And though it appears that a fair number of people recognize the direction our nation is taking, we are at a loss for reasons to explain why. It can’t be my fault; it has to be their fault. [See Mat. 7:3-5]. Nothing like a bit of self-righteousness to keep us from hitting the mark.

As a society, we labor under the self-righteous delusion that we are God-fearing people, therefore nothing will happen to us. [See Micah 3:11]. In truth, as a group, we don’t even understand the gospel delivered to us in the first century. [See the Feature article, And It's Still A Mystery]. So, we continually wander, unreachable, lost among the dead end pathways of our Adversary’s tangled garden. [Read the Feature article, What Exactly Is The Gospel?].

As the children of Adam, the fruit of which we eat are “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, division, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, revelries, and the like ….” [Gal. 5:19-21]. Just watching the evening news, it is easy to discover that this pretty much covers what trees we’ve been eating from in the garden of low-hanging fruit.

If we wish to avoid reaping the fruit of the Apocalypse, “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, until that time …” [Dan. 12:1], then as a society it is incumbent on us, not God, to revive our nation by turning the tables and giving our Adversary the old bum’s rush. Otherwise, by continuing to eat the fruit of this garden, we remain in the abattoir of Bozrah. [See Rev. 13:7; Isa. 63:1-10; also the Feature articles, Is That You, Big Brother? and Isaiah 63: Big Brother]. But, as the prophecies from Genesis to Revelation tell us, our happy and at ease herd preference is to remain in the garden of low-hanging fruit. Therefore, we will continue to suffer its consequences while clinging to the falsehood that in so doing, “You shall not surely die.” [Gen. 3:4].

So, when mounting tragedy and suffering continues to prevail upon us, rather than ask, “Why does God let this happen?” we need to responsibly ask, “Why do we still listen to that old serpent?” But this has been our history throughout the Biblical record. We do, indeed, have foreheads of brass. [See the Sneaker’s article, This Old House].

Those who have been baptized and are passionate about the kingdom of God, the fruit of living our lives with the Spirit of God, no longer as children of the first Adam, but of the last Adam, Christ, is found on a much different tree, the tree of life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” while casting aside the idolatrous duplicity of so-called Christian traditions. [Gal. 5:22, 23; 1 Cor. 15:45-49; see the Feature article, Easter, Babylon And The Antichrist].

God has made a promise to those who get it. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life ….” [Rev. 22:13, 14]. When it’s all said and done, we end up where Eve began. Only this time, we can rightly choose the tree of life. Then finally, the tree of death in the garden of low-hanging fruit will be given the ultimate bum’s rush.

“O Death, where is your sting? O Grave [Greek, hades], where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thank God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [seeking the high-hanging fruit], knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” [1 Cor. 15:55-58].

Italics and [ ] are the author's.

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