Scripture Reading:
Gen. 4:17-22

“Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever determines to be a friend of the world is constituted an enemy of God.”(James 4:4)
the beginning of the world

Before the fall of man, all his basic needs were supplied by God. All his vital necessities, whether biological, psychological or spiritual, were provided by God. Food, protection, dwelling and enjoyment were all supplied by God so that man could live well on the earth. Many think that God created man to live as an inanimate object without feeling, happiness, pleasure or life. But that is not what is revealed in the Bible. Rather, after God created man, He placed him in the garden of Eden. Eden is a word which signifies "pleasure." God was concerned for man's satisfaction and in such a pleasant place, He supplied everything he needed.

However, when man went away from God, starting with Cain and his descendants, what happened? Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah and automatically lost all the provision that came from God. Then a civilization without God had to arise. After Cain came out of God's presence he was afraid and said, "What will become of my life?" He was worried because he would now have to supply all his basic needs by himself. He needed protection, enjoyment and sustenance, which he would have had if he had remained in God's presence.

Cain's descendants continued this pursuit and thereby began to raise cattle, live in tents, play the flute for enjoyment and make weapons out of iron and bronze for defense (Gen. 4:17-22). We see that all these things were invented as substitutes for the provision they would have had if they had remained under God's care. At this point, men were replacing God to the extent of becoming absolutely independent of Him. This was the embryonic stage of what the Bible calls the world.

What is the World?

In order to keep man away from God, Satan has systematized, organized and planned all of man's activities to form the world. World in Greek is kosmos, and signifies a system or organization. This system was for the purpose of occupying man with his own needs so that he would not have time for God or care for His interests. This is very subtle because, on one hand, man needs to be concerned about his food, dwelling, entertainment, protection, and so on; but, on the other hand, being too worried about these things causes him to become enslaved by them. Eventually, man's life is consumed with things that are in excess of his needs. When this occurs, everything is more important than God. For this reason Jesus said to those who wanted to follow Him, that if anyone loved his wife, child, house, mother, father, etc, more than Him, he was not worthy to be called His disciple. If someone wants to be a disciple of Christ, he must put Him in the first place. Consequently, whenever any activity, person or thing takes the place of God, that thing becomes the world to us.

This matter is very serious. When Satan can separate someone from God by occupying him with other things and making those things his world, God has no way of working in him directly. Something like this happened to an acquaintance of mine. He was a poor young man and we, his friends, did not understand why he always wore the best clothes and the best shoes. We asked ourselves, "How can he afford to buy those things?" Soon afterwards, we discovered that he was involved with immoral people who bought him with gifts. Unfortunately, his ways did not allow him to go back and the last thing we heard about him was that he had contracted a serious illness (which was probably AIDS – at that time this disease had not yet been identified).

This story shows us exactly how the world works in a person. This young person received new clothes, new shoes, new cars, and even an apartment. These things were given to him little by little with a very well defined goal: to attract him to "a better world," far from poverty. The world begins to come into our life in a hidden way, subtly and gradually causing us to become entangled, until we are carried away from God.

Key Point:
How does Satan enslave people?