“The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 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.” Genesis 3:2-3
Ever played the hearing game in school? In this game, the teacher starts off by whispering something in one of the student’s ears and then tells that student to do the same thing to the person next to him and so on. By the time it gets to the last student, what was heard isn’t remotely close to what was originally said. In the end, everyone laughs and gets a kick out of it. But when it comes to God’s word, there’s nothing funny about getting it twisted, unless of course, you’re the serpent.
When the serpent questioned Eve about God's Word, she defended it by correcting him, “We MAY eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” but she added to the Word by suggesting death to be the result of eating and touching the fruit.
How often have we added or taken away from God’s word due to deception from the serpent? Or even deception from tradition, life experiences or our own unwillingness to change? Every time we add or take away from God’s word, we become vulnerable to deception. Our bases become weak and our foundation becomes shaky. Cracks start to appear and every shot the enemy takes is an aim towards our weakest point. Be sure of the Word by knowing your Word. Then no matter where your weak points are, God’s Word will seal it.
God makes it clear that there’s a price to pay for disobedience. God doesn’t take time to educate man on the benefits of not eating the fruit. He doesn’t explain why eating the fruit is so bad or even why it would cause him to die. He just says the course of this action will lead to this consequence. And now man knowing the outcome in advance is left to decide within himself which path to take.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
The serpent tells the woman something completely opposite from God’s warning. He says, “You will not certainly die.” So the woman who already doesn’t have a strong foundation in God’s Words now has to decide which word is the right; the first word coming from the source or the second word coming from... wait. How did the serpent introduce himself to Eve again?
Oh, that’s right. He didn’t. He presented himself in a form she recognized, an animal. No alarm there, right? Besides Adam, all she’s ever seen were animals.
When sin enters your mind, how is it presented? Does it seem alarming? Shocking? Maybe not. Otherwise, you’d be suspicious of its delivery. Instead, they may seem familiar, normal. Maybe even innocent at first. The goal is to get your mind off the truth.
Be careful. These thoughts come with no consequence. No bad endings. Only that something better will happen as a result. Better than what you were previously told. Better than what you first believed. And by doing this, you’d be redefining “good” from your eyes. The serpent’s venom: Who knows you, better than you. This is his method. This is his path to steer you your way. He then suggests to Eve that by defying God’s word, she could become God’s equal. The nerve. How could man ever be equal to God? The suggestion may be by becoming his own god.
Think about the ways in which the serpent circumvents God’s word in our society. Here’s an example of the thoughts he plants:
It’s “good” to sleep around. There are no bad consequences. You are in control of the outcome. Emotional baggage? Fill it with more sex. Find another partner. One who understands your needs. One who supports you and makes you feel loved and appreciated. This is your way to happiness. Pregnancy concerns? Take birth control. Cautious about STDs? Use condoms. Because yielding to your desires will be to your benefit. You’ll be satisfied, complete, loved and have something not even God could give.
In essence, he’s saying, "You are the god of your future. The god of your desires. The god of destiny. You have the power of choice to enable this to happen. Go after what you want, when you want, and how you want."
These are all lies. Don’t believe it. It’s destructive. It’s manipulative. And it does lead to death.
In disobeying God, Eve did attain something she never had before; knowledge of good and evil. But having this knowledge didn’t make her like God in character. It made her God’s rival because now she possessed something God never could and something God is against: sin. This sin separating both her and Adam from their only source of life.
Eve believed the lie. Maybe at one point, you believed it too. Or you fell prey to the serpent’s scheme. We all have. Whether it dealt with money, sex, relationships, a job, drugs, education, family, or anything else. We’ve all at one time or another fooled ourselves into believing the sin we chose would somehow result in something better. A better relationship. A better feeling of fulfillment. A better lifestyle. A better sense of identity. Or whatever else we sought. If not, why else would we do it?
But it’s not long after that our bubble bursts. We fall flat and end up regretting what we’ve done. We purpose to never do it again. That commitment only lasts but so long and we find ourselves again in failure’s corner.
To win, we must cut the lie. Lies must be severed from the root. The root is not what comes out of a man. It’s what goes in. The serpent replaced God’s truth with a lie. Let’s counteract by replacing his lies with truth.
But unlike Eve, let’s not just repeat it. Let’s know it and believe it.
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