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How often did they miss a fluorescent butterfly in passing? Or ignore the gurgling of an ice-cold stream below their feet? Did they ever glance up through the tangle of greenery at the marvelous blue sky above them, or notice the layers of mist-capped mountains stretching endlessly across the horizon? Maybe they observed it, but never appreciated it for what it truly was. . . .
Don’t misunderstand—our tribal friends are extremely observant. They know miles of dense, nearly inaccessible jungle like the back of their hand. They can distinguish the difference between a bend in a twig from the remnants of a subtle animal trail. They know what time of day it is depending on the sun overhead. They have names for nearly every tree, plant, and jungle creature that lives in their ecosystem. Creation was observed but through the eyes of those deceived and confused.
Our tribal friends are living in an amazing, isolated tribe in Southeast Asia. They live day in and day out in some of the most remote and awe-inspiring jungles on the planet, surrounded by beauty that has little competition. But this was irrelevant.
The soaring, song-filled birds, cascading waterfalls, sky-filled rainbows, and everything in between in this jungle paradise weren’t recognized for its beauty but rather as warnings, signposts of spiritual enemies, omens of evil, and lies about creation passed on from their ancestors who distorted and twisted the truth and beauty of their world. For centuries they lived in bondage to evil spirits with no appreciation for creation.
Sin deludes and dulls the beauty around us. It blots out color, changes reality to chaos, and turns our affections to hatred. We see this pattern throughout the world.
After teaching chronologically through the Bible, starting in the book of Genesis, we find the account of God bringing the world and everything with it into existence; on through the life, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our tribal friends understood for the first time where they stood before their Creator
Fear and malice toward the creepy crawlies that infest the jungle floor, disregard for the lush flora—trees and plant species that number by the millions—turned into appreciation, wonder, and praise for the One who made it all for His glory and our pleasure and enjoyment.
True beauty for creation is revealed through knowledge of the God that made everything in the beginning from nothing, created perfect and pure, for Himself and the joy and blessing of mankind despite our rebellion toward Him. He has offered unimaginable grace and forgiveness on our behalf through His Son.
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