My kids love to watch me cook. They come into the kitchen and ask me all kinds of questions and tell me all sorts of things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with cooking (I think it’s because I’m a captive audience). A few days ago they came into the kitchen while I was making tuna salad and told me that they were pretending that God tricked them into doing the right thing! Wow! Kids sure are honest about that they think. I was taken back by this line of thinking. Does God trick us?
I was quick to tell the kids that God doesn’t trick us, He tells us what He wants us to do and then He lets us decide if we are going to do what’s right or not. Joshua 24:15 says
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
He gave Israel and choice, and He gives us a choice. But that doesn’t keep us from wondering if God has tricked us. We have a hard time understanding God’s character – how can He be all powerful and still give us freedom to choose? We forget that God is very different from us humans. We can’t even compare Him to our way of thinking and acting. We are not always honest about our desires and intentions. We manipulate, lie, and pretend that we are righteous. God does not lie! Titus 1:2 says
in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began
Tricking us is inconsistent with Who God is, and we are to be like Him – not tricking others to get what we want. No “bait and switch” either! We should prayerfully approach others and ask directly for what we want and then let them make their decision. I would apply this to all relationships in life: with parents, children, spouse, friends, siblings, Church, etc . . . It is very sad to me that my children would grow up thinking that God would trick them in order to get what He wants. It is also sad to realize that I have been suspicious of God too.
It is actually the devil who tricks people. And he is the one trying to make God out to be the bad guy. It started in Genesis when the serpent convinced Eve that God was lying about the fruit. Look what Eve told God when He asked her about it in Genesis 3:13:
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The devil is trying to make God look bad and himself look like God. He wants to steal God’s glory and destroy our fellowship with God. In John 10:10 Jesus says:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
We need to be on guard, always trusting God and suspicious of anyone who would try to cause us to go against what God has told us to do. God is not the trickster.
Lord, please help me live in such a way that I see You for who You really are: holy, righteous, loving, trustworthy, and many wonderful attributes in addition to these. Please help me to study the Bible so that I see who YOU really are; I don’t want to be tricked by the devil. I want to be a willing servant of the King of kings. You are the only one who is completely trustworthy.