“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:16-17 (ESV)
Have you ever been deceived? Of course you have. We all have been deceived by what others have done and by what others have taught us. We have a warning to not be deceived in today’s verse which should give us the encouragement that we are able to avoid deception if we ask for and receive the wisdom God has for us. The wisdom in this verse is the means we need to avoid deception. The original language expression in today’s verse refers to erring, going astray, or wandering off. Christians are not to make the mistake of blaming God rather than acknowledging their sin (James 1:13-15). Two different words for “gift.” First, is the act of giving, and the second, is the object given. Everything related to God’s giving is adequate, complete, and beneficial. The ancient expression for God was the “Father of lights.” It acknowled Him as creator of lights. “Lights” are the sun, moon, and stars. From man’s perspective, these celestial bodies have variation in their different phases of movement and rotation, they change and vary in intensity. But God does not—He is changeless and in Him there is no variation or shifting shadow.
“The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate. 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.” Genesis 3:13 (ESV)
When it happened, everything on earth changed from a state of perfection to a state of deterioration. What would have lasted and lived forever because there was no death now had a terminal point. It is very difficult for us to comprehend the extent of this change. Yet, it affected all since that very moment. In a world where all was provided, everything became a need to finding a way to sustain life. No sickness became sickness. Long life became a shorter and shorter. God confronted their actions. “What have you done?” He asked them. But He knew. Some read their replies as excuses. Perhaps they simply stated the facts of what had happened. They were experiencing guilt and shame for the first time. Both quickly acknowledged what they did. They had been deceived but didn’t know yet how to deceive. Going after what they thought was more or better, they got much worse. God knows all the time. And when we stumble, he wants us to own it and confess it, and seek forgiveness through Christ Jesus the Redeemer who was promised by God on that same day. Before they were evicted from the perfect place God promised redemption.