*When The Trunk Is Cut, The Tree Will Fall
The three words, “Hath God Said” were used by the serpent when he tempted Eve. She and Adam were in paradise. They knew not war, famine, sickness or evil. There, God had given them but one law to obey. Just one. And they disobeyed it. When the serpent uttered these three little words, Eve listened, Adam obliged, and they became the ax set to the trunk of their existence, and the whole thing fell down.
Thousands of years later nothing has changed. Satan continues to whisper these three words into the ears of man, and man still listens. Now, while it may seem like a simple thing to trust God and not Satan, it is more difficult of a thing to do than you might think. Let’s look at what God says in Matthew 7:14: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” These are God’s words. And like the law in Eden, they are simple and straightforward enough. But as you live your life you will learn that believing His Word is more of a challenge than it would seem from the outset. Add to this that, by trusting God, you will be going against the flow of your culture, and it gets even more difficult. You must constantly ask yourself, do I truly believe?
In the passage above, Jesus paints a picture of throngs of humanity shuffling along a wide road. No one knows or cares about where the road they’re on is leading, they just go along with what everyone else is doing. They want and need to fit in. But He also speaks of a tiny little gate and a tiny little path beyond it that goes largely unnoticed. When it is noticed it is ridiculed or ignored. But some notice, and then they enter the gate and begin walking along a wholly different path than the rest of humanity. And over time their values and their thinking become different than that of those on the wide path. They are changed.
So what does this have to do with the question, “Hath God said?”. Well, by the time you are adults wickedness will have increased in many ways. One of these ways is that, not only will two men be able to marry each other in your society, but you will not be allowed to say that God’s Word stands against such things. This is understandable because those demanding of you this silence are on the wide path, and the Bible is clear that God gives such people over to the lusts of their own hearts. But more importantly, and increasingly, there will be many who claim to be on the narrow path who will agree with this perversion and will even call it righteous, loving and good. They have answered the question, “hath God said” and emphatically said “No! He did not in fact say”. These will be easy to spot because they argue from man’s wisdom and personal feelings, and not from God’s word. And, they will have much more confidence in what is popular than in what God says.
With this in mind consider that Jesus gives us this parable of the broad and narrow ways in verses 13 and 14. Some Bibles, you will note, separate certain verses with little headers as if Jesus’ thought had transitioned to something new. But this is not necessarily so. This little parable of the two paths, in fact, is followed by a warning: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” The train of thought concerning the gate and the path continues. And even though they knew that Jesus warned that many will come to Him in the end and claim to have been on the narrow path, He will send them away as workers of lawlessness.
You see, taking the narrow gate, and walking along the narrow path, is going to set you apart. You will not be popular, and this will tend to put you, like Adam and Eve, at a crossroads. You will be faced many times with a decision between following what God says and displeasing man, or following your carnal inclinations and thereby asking yourselves, Hath God really said?
The many judge the Church according to man’s ever-changing standards because they, in the end, didn’t believe that God actually said what He said. But be sure that God never commands His Church to win the approval of the darkened hearts of the masses. ( Rom 1:21) On the contrary, he calls the masses to repent from their wicked ways and to come and follow Him.
Believing what God says in His Word is the trunk of the tree of your faith, and not believing what God said is the same as taking an ax to that trunk and expecting it to still stand.
I pray that your Father in heaven will sustain your faith so that it will withstand the onslaught of this world, and that you will finish this life well, steeped in faith.