Home > Faith in Action > A Banana in the Hand of the Evil One update 1-29-14

This morning I discovered that holding a peeled banana with a smooth leather glove didn’t work well.

I felt a little foolish, as each time I tried to take a bite of my commuter-breakfast, the banana slipped out of the smooth glove and dropped next to me on the car seat.  It seemed like the Lord was chuckling at my dilemma and then I got the thought, that’s how it is with God’s Word sometimes – one minute people think they have a firm grasp on it and then in a short time… it’s slipped away.

 The first mention of “the Word” being close by, approachable, attainable, is in Deuteronomy 30.  Moses has been commanded by God to speak with the sons of Israel so that “He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God…” (Deut. 29:13, NAS)  As Moses continues speaking, he states, “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”

(Deut. 30:14, NAS)
Sandwiched between decrees to “obey the commandments of the Lord,” this single verse stands out to me as enigmatic.  Moses is in the middle of relaying the specific do’s-and-don’ts to obtain God’s blessing and prosperity…and whoosh…it’s as if the Spirit of Truth drops in, reveals Himself to those who are listening for just a moment…but only for the purpose of helping them observe the word….not embody it.
That is a privilege reserved for the children of God. Fast-forward – New Testament, New Covenant:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”                       (John 1:1-5, NAS)  The NAS footnotes change “comprehend” to “overpower,” as do many other translations.  The Easy-to-Read (ERV) version of that verse states, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not defeated it.”
I like the ERV use of the word “has,” rather than the NAS use of “did.”  I’m not pointing out a grammatical technicality to be nit-picky. …there’s potentially much more involved.  We are reading the Word…and how we interpret what we read has significant impact.  It’s natural to read the words “did not overpower it” and create the interpretive lens that Christ’s life was victorious..back then….the darkness could not defeat the Word…back then…past tense.  Paul, however, taught in the book of Hebrews, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8,NAS)  Therefore, the Light is still shining in the darkness, and the darkness is still not defeating it.  We are embodying the Word….not merely observing it, as in Moses’ day.

His Light shining through us.  His victory, our victory.  Now.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Since the darkness could not – and subsequently can not – overpower or defeat the Light…the enemy brings in the strategy of the slippery banana.

Jesus shared what has become a well-known parable about the sower and the seed.  It is the first segment of His parable that talks about the concept of “slippery bananas”:  “Hear then the parable of the sower.  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart…”  (Matt. 13:18-19, NAS)

Are we unintentionally partnering with the evil one?  Whoops….I know I had that banana in my hand….now it’s gone.  I know I heard something about the kingdom…but I can’t quite recall what it was…

 Paul admonishes in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (NAS) “Diligent” is defined as “marked by persevering, painstaking effort.” (freedictionary.com, online)

 An honest question…when we hear a concept or truth “about the kingdom” and don’t understand it, do we persevere in seeking Him to open our spiritual eyes and ears?  Do we make a “painstaking effort” at comprehension, meditating on the content, re-reading it in Scripture?  Or is there the inclination to “let it go” and wait for another time….

It’s a consideration to take to heart…because a banana in the hand of an evil one can be very slippery….