Sunday, November 06, 2005

Teeth Marks in Apples

Shopping in the supermarket earlier this week, I glanced around the apple bins. When I found our favorite variety, I looked for the choicest fruits. The apples were in slanted containers, within easy reach of children. Quite a few Red Delicious and Gala apples had tiny teeth marks.

I’ve witnessed this sneaky sampling by children. When a parent is busy bagging cucumbers or carrots, their hungry preschooler spots a shiny apple. Apples are to eat, right? The child bites into the luscious fruit before dad or mom spies the misconduct. Teeth buried in apple skin, they are told, “Put that back.” The fruit isn’t ruined completely, but no longer is it perfect.

In the beginning, when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden which meant “paradise,” perfect harmony prevailed. Ideals existed for man and woman, llamas and lions, birds and bees. But, through calculated plans, an evil presence destroyed perfection.

During the creative process, God surveyed his daily handiwork and “saw that it was good.” After gathering the seas into basins, exposing land, fashioning light rays we see and light rays we don’t see, God “saw that it was good.” When man and woman and all the elements of earth were completed, “God saw that it was very good” (Genesis 1).

Faultless, Adam and Eve lived in the garden of God. But a spoiler entered the perfect scene, and deceived the man and woman living in paradise. Satan twisted the truth. The woman and man believed his words rather than God’s, and sin entered the world. Satan said they could eat a forbidden fruit and not be harmed. Said they could sink their teeth in it and not be tainted. Satan lied.

After a few generations, God gave written laws to help people reconnect with truth. God gave moral and civil laws through Abraham’s lineage. He gave standards. He drew lines in the desert sand. The laws were perfect, but people found themselves imperfect. Keeping every law was simply impossible.

From Genesis to Malachi, the Old Testament books, God left inspired stories of partial successes and failures. A reading of those accounts reveals how much help is needed to live upright. Human strife is constant. Current, evening news discloses that nothing has changed about human nature in thousands of years. The fruit is spoiled. It has teeth marks in it. The word of God tells how fresh fruit is grown.

I realize that not everyone believes the Bible. Some think it is an ancient book with no relevance to today. I’ve heard this question, “How could any book written so long ago, apply to our lives today?” The answer lies in the author. The words weren’t dreamed up by a Neanderthal man. The Creator inspired writers to pen events that would stand the test of time, stand the test of cultures, and stand the test of every philosophy. Creator God who knows us better than our closest relative, left a guidebook.

I am in awe that God told a writer the story of creation. And that writer recorded dialogue between God and the first man and woman. And when Eve had her first baby, her words of love are on a page in black and white. About relevancy of the Bible, Corrie Ten Boon said she marveled that “the ink was dry on the pages.”

The answers to the basics of life are in the Bible. God’s ordained pattern for love, sex, and marriage is in the Bible. By reading the Bible, many of the life style issues of today could be viewed from God’s perspective.

In Jesus Christ, God promises a fruit that is perfect, that has no teeth marks in it. To those who seek and find him he gives the unspoiled fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25).

Cathy Messecar at

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