Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blame it all on Eve! (continued)

We mentioned yesterday that in this passage of scripture, Adam and Eve ate one of the most expensive meals ever. And the terrible thing is, it wasn't even the best thing on the menu that day, or any other day! God gave them every tree to eat from except that one -- there were plenty of other wonderful trees to eat from . . . luscious apples, juicy peaches, you name it!
Verse 9 of chapter 2 says that the trees were pleasing to the eye, and good for food. It's just that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was off limits.

Well, we may ask if they had all those other trees to eat from, why did they do it? It all boils down to the fact that they chose to do so. They chose to pick the wrong item on the menu. They chose to disobey God.

Yes, the serpent may have talked her into doing it, but hey! She knew what God had said. He told her He didn't want them to eat of that particular tree. He also told them that those who ate of that tree would face death.
But she chose to eat of the tree anyway.
We all make bad choices sometimes. Eve did.
Her first bad choice came even before Satan said a word to her. What was it?

Look back at the passage (verses 1-3) :

                Satan said to the woman, "Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any
                tree in the garden’?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from
                the trees in the garden, 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.’

Did you notice anything?
God told them "don't eat the fruit."
Eve says, "He said don't eat it or touch it."
Eve chose to add that little restriction, and add to God's commandment. She chose to improve on what God said.
Oy. That was all the wiggle room that Satan needed, to begin his mind games with her. Once we get used to the idea that we (mere humans, total sinners) can improve on God's Word, we begin to think we can do other things, too. We believe that we can change it when we want to. We believe that we can improve on it in other places, too. And we get used to being the ultimate judge of what is acceptable and unacceptable -- instead of letting God do that. Oh boy, is that ever wrong!
Take a look at what Jesus said:

                   They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.
                   (Matthew 15:9)

Once we humans get accustomed to accepting "improvements" on what God has said, our worship becomes vain. When we add the commandments of men to the commandments of God, our worship is empty, or worthless . . . in vain. Why? Why is it such a "big deal" about these additions, or improvements? It's because the only way that we can handle the trials of this life is by hanging on the pure Word of God. The only way we can deal with the temptations of life is by immersing ourselves in the Word.

So, Eve made a bad choice, in adding to God's Word. And that is where Satan focused, in order to deceive her. Look again at how the serpent tempts her:

                   You will not certainly die . . . 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)

Eve had become accustomed to not fully trusting God's commands, by adding her own words to His. So, Satan just took her a little further down that path; he pretty much told her that God had lied to her.
"Aw, come on, Eve, you're not going to die -- you won't even get sick! There aren't really any consequences to your choices." Does this sound like what we hear today? "You can mess around with this sin or that one, and it's not really going to hurt you. You can be lustful, and sexually promiscuous; look at pornography, too -- nothing will happen. You can be hateful to others, and be spiteful and bitter -- no consequences. Go ahead and be proud, self-righteous, and selfish -- it's not going to make a difference. "

"There really won't be any consequences. Forget what you've been told."
"There's no shame or guilt, and forget about judgment and hell -- that's bogus. No eternal regret. Just do what feels good. It's all going to be OK -- God lied to you about that."

Satan was trying to convince Eve of the same thing that he wants to convince us of today: God was lying to you. He doesn't want the best for you -- He doesn't even want you to have any fun. He doesn't want you to enjoy life. So you need to throw off those ole "do's and don'ts" and have a great time! No consequences!

Eve begins to think about that. And then she begins to look at the tree.

                     When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food
                     and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she
                     took some and ate it. (Genesis 3:6)

Does it say that Eve was hungry? Nope.
Does it say that all the other trees looked terrible? Nope.

                     The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees
                     that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the
                     garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good
                     and evil. (Genesis 2:9)

But Satan's lies were taking root. What she really saw was that the tree was ALSO desirable for gaining wisdom. And what she really thought was that God had not told her the whole truth about the tree. After all, that just wasn't fair, was it?
So, she chose to disobey God.
But at least Eve had an excuse -- she was deceived.

Tomorrow we'll finish this study; I hope you'll join us!


Austin Towers said...

We need to be so careful! I can see that just giving an inch to Satan and he will take a mile! Can be a hard lesson to learn! Hugs, Caro xxx

Cathy said...

This is the ultimate lesson for learning that every sin has consequences, for our lives, and for the lives of those around us.