“Adam had ’em.” (Ogden Nash)

I am taking comfort today in the belief that there will be no gnats in heaven. At the same time I realize that it is a local thing and everyone doesn’t have to put up with them. I’m sure they have something else, flies, mosquitoes, scorpions and parasites in the water. Even those who live in the desert are bothered by pests, probably fleas if nothing else. That’s what Mr. Nash thought in his poem “Fleas.” It’s no comfort to me that everyone has to deal with some bothersome critter. I’m looking forward to the new earth where gnats will not be allowed. I’m pretty sure of that.

When everything was finished God looked at his work and said, “It is very good.” That is a clue that it was without gnats, or any of those other pests. If they were there they were minding their own business and staying out of people’s eyes. Really, I think the gnats and fleas came outside the garden. They were part of the punishment that mankind was dealt for a bite of fruit. Mankind started out so innocent, sin free and bug free. Why didn’t he just do what he was told to do. The world was so good, so clean, so gnat free.

I think of new born babies. Ever look at a baby and say, that baby is going to be a mass murderer or an embezzler or a rapist? No, I thought not. You more than likely said something like, “Oh, how innocent he looks.” We even have coined the phrase, “innocent as a baby.” That little human comes into the world and has no thoughts of picking up a club to kill his brother or cremating millions in brick ovens. No baby cries his first cry and then asks for poison gas to eliminate thousands of other children. No baby issues a decree to kill all the children under two in Bethlehem or all the male ones in Egypt.

What happens? Why do I read about grown up babies doing all these things. Why is the world bothered by such human pests who won’t leave others alone? They are like the gnats and the fleas who make life on earth so miserable. How did they get this way? How did such innocence go the route of weeds and pests?

The evil people of this world, like the gnats, are a result of the evil one’s work. God made Adam and Eve without blemish or spot, just like he made the world. Even the animals got along. Enter Satan. He was definitely a game changer.

The innocent baby we talked about earlier, will stay innocent until the evil one shows up. Every parent longs for gnat-away or mosquito-gone or evil-ban for their infant. Any thing to shield it from Satan. It is available but not in powder or spray form. It requires complete immersion, a bath of blood and spirit. The blood of Jesus is the one sure cure for evil in the world. In the book of books it’s called baptism.  Parents must feed their babies the living word, and give them living water and thus lead their child to a life of obedience to God.

The difference in the Garden and the difference in the world today is that one word, obedience. “Train up a child in the way he should go,” we are told. Sounds too simple, maybe. But, as Naaman discovered, the power is not in the Jordan (water) but in God. Obedience in the beginning would have given us a gnat free world. Today, it will reduce mass murder, hatred, anger, envy, greed, sexual crimes and simple robbery. It would be possible to eliminate it all if we would just obey God. Too late for gnats, not too late for the babies.

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