I have read a great deal of books that I would think of as my favorites. However if I was to narrow it down, D’Artagnan Romances would be in my top ten. It is a set of three novels by French writer Alexandre Dumas, the most famous of which is The Three Musketeers.
By the third part of the last book The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later, the three musketeers Athos, Aramis, and Porthos and their friend D’Artagnan are becoming disillusioned with life and with each other. They’ve started to drift apart, and D’Artagnan is clearly troubled by the deterioration of the friendship. In despair, he utters these words:
“And this man, who would shed every drop of blood in his veins for me, will not open up before me the least corner in his heart. Friendship . . . is nothing but an unsubstantial shadow— a lure, like everything else in this bright, dazzling world.” (The Man in the Iron Mask, chapter 14)
In some ways D’Artagnan has a point. King Solomon described life as “meaningless” or “vanity” (Ecclesiastes 2:17). In fact, from almost the beginning of the Bible, this is how, as we are warned, life is going to be after the Fall.
And though we can throw our hands up in frustration, we know exactly why this is the case. Adam’s decision at the Garden of Eden yielded consequences that reach even to our lives today. When Adam rebelled against God, what he was doing, or rather attempting to do, was to try and take God’s place (Genesis 3:4). The same could be said of us when we reject God’s rule over our lives. When we usurp the place He deserves, we have rebelled against Him.
When we understand how truly terrible that is, we begin to realize why God responded in the way He did. The friendship between the man and woman in the Garden of Eden would never be the same. Mankind’s relationship with God is tarnished. God will not let the creatures that He created replace Him and His authority.
God could have crushed Adam then and there. And He would have been perfectly right to do so. But God didn’t do that. In His mercy He allowed life to continue. What is even more amazing is that rather than just wipe out the human race, God provides a way out of this imperfect life—not back to the world as it was, but into a better life that none of us deserve—one that is flawless and eternal.
This is why the cross is so great. God did something about our rebellion. As a just God, He cannot let sin go unpunished. But on the cross, God’s righteous anger is satisfied. Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, took our punishment. And because He was raised to life again, we can be confident that our sins are fully forgiven. If we submit to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are safe from God’s wrath and our future in His new heaven and earth is guaranteed.
D’Artagnan is right in what he states about friendship. “Like everything else in this bright, dazzling world”, friendship is not perfect and is something that is good but broken. So I would advice D’Artagnan not to place his trust in something or someone that will ultimately let him down. Instead he should remember who he is before his Creator, for only when that relationship is put to right, will he be able to see friendship in proper perspective.
Written By Ruth Lawrence for YMI