I began the first day of the New Year as I begin every day, reading the Word of God. For 2016, I decided to go back through the One Year Bible. From day one I have heard the voice of God teaching me and I have felt the hand of God leading me. Each day’s reading meets me right where I am. Including January 2nd, when I read a portion of Genesis chapter 3 that smacked me right between the eyes. Read it with me?
“Now the serpent…said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, ‘Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?
And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it…’
And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’
And when the woman saw that the tree was…to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat.” Genesis 3:1-6
My eyes swept over these verses as they had many times before. But that day I stopped, stunned. I re-read the passage. Here’s what I saw:
Eve was a blessed woman. She was lovely to behold, and was lovingly, um, beheld by her husband! She was freely granted everlasting life – physically and spiritually. She lived in an outdoor palace of perfection with flowing rivers, feathery grass, furry kittens, and fresh fruit. She had it all: glorious rest, grand vistas, glassy ponds, and God’s favor. And she had the option of pain-free birth, for goodness sake!
Yes, Eve was special. She had been crafted by a loving God and placed in paradise. She was granted everything she could have asked for – nothing was forbidden…except that which God knew would harm her. All it took was one quick glance around to know how good she had it.
Then, one day, along came a serpent. He hissed four seemingly insipid words: “Yea, hath God said?” Eve replied with certainty. “God hath said!” The serpent then made one – hear this: one – more comment. “Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Bam. Thirty-two words were all it took. The gracious love of a giving God traded in for a grand lie. Eve measured God’s past and present goodness and truth against 32 words from a strange serpent, and found fault with her Lord. Dreams exchanged for doubt. Treasures exchanged for treachery. Life exchanged for death.
Just hours before I read those words, I, too, had been guilty of Eve’s sin. The hefty planks of God’s faithfulness that built a sturdy bridge of trust were traded in for mere words. Isn’t that all it takes…32 words? Thirty-two words of bad news, heartbreak, or insecurity, and we can so easily exchange His goodness and truth for lies.
I reached for the pen and pad of paper I keep beside me during my devotions and wrote, “Eve was convinced so easily, wasn’t she, Lord? Does it take me much more? Forgive me, Father – I’m such a fool!”
You see, God plans for our good (Jer 29:11), pursues our hearts (Matt 18:12), and takes pleasure in our hope (Ps 147:11). He gives freely (Rom 8:32), loves deeply (John 3:16), and forgives completely (Ps 103:12). He gives wisdom to those who ask (Ja 1:5), He binds up the wounds of the broken (Ps 147:3), and He grants the desires of those who delight in Him (Ps 37:4).
He’s the One who sees us (Gen 16:3), provides for us (Gen 22:14), and teaches us (Is 48:7). He’s our bridegroom (John 3:29), our beloved (Songs 6:3), and our bread of life (John 6:35). He’s our Savior (1 Peter 1:20), our sustainer (Ps 54:4), and our strong tower (Prov 18:10). He’s worthy of praise (Ps 145:3), worthy of glory (Rev 4:11), and worthy of obedience (1 Sam 15:22).
He’s all powerful (Jer 32:27), all-knowing (Ps 147:5), and all together lovely (Songs 5:16). He is love (1 John 4:16), He is sovereign (Is 46:10), and He is holy (Is 57:15). He is without measure (John 3:34), without sin (2 Cor 5:21), and without peer (Phil 2:9). He is faithful (1 Cor 1:9), He is good (Ps 136:1), and He is ours (Ps 48:14).
Need I go on? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see doubt for what it is: A lie from the serpent of hell.
“Yea, hath God said?”
Yes, He has. And “I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12).