5 Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
The human tongue is untamed. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing, truth and falsehood. Yet there is one whose word is always true, who cannot lie, who keeps all promises and sees through all deceit. Whose word do you trust? We look back at the beliefs of prior generations with chagrin, wondering how they could be so silly. Yet much of what this generation holds as truth will be seen the same way by those that follow. “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” No matter what the world says, take refuge in God and trust in His word – it will shield you from the foolishness of the times.
“Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” God’s word has stood the test of time, there is no need to add to or subtract from it. Yet we would all like to be God’s editor, the final authority on truth. According to Genesis, at the beginning there was only one rule between God and man: “ you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” The serpent, representing the voice of the world, sought to make God’s word look unreasonable and absurdl: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
It was the serpent’s deceit that prompted the woman to add to God’s word. Her response bears this out: “but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
How much religion is addition to God’s word? How many restrictions, well intended as they are, cause more trouble than they prevent? Just as it was in the garden, God’s credibility is warped by the world’s deceptions and our corrections. The woman touched the fruit and did not die, perhaps the failure of the made-up consequence led her to doubt the existence of the real consequence. It is dangerous to play such games. Adapt yourself to the word of God; it is foolish to adapt it to yourself.