Today’s reading: Genesis 3
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He 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.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
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. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Genesis 3:1-7).
Does the story of Adam and Eve’s original sin in Genesis 3 sound eerily familiar to you? According to the old saying – fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me – the pattern of temptation the serpent used on Eve would eventually stop being effective, right? Wrong. Every human since Adam and Eve (except Jesus who was fully God and fully human) has been born with a sinful nature. The tactics Satan used on Eve have been effective throughout history, and they still work on us today –
- Satan implied God was selfish and did not want Adam and Eve to share in his knowledge of good and evil. By getting Eve to doubt God’s goodness, he helped her overlook all God had given her and focus on the one thing she couldn’t have. Focusing on what we don’t have, but think we are entitled to have, always tempts us to sin.
- Satan tried to make Eve think that sin was good, pleasant and desirable. A knowledge of both good and evil seemed harmless to her. We are too are tempted to choose wrong things because we convince ourselves those things are good, at least for us.
When Adam and Eve gave into temptation, and concluded their way was better than God’s way, they sinned. Do you see what happened next? They became self-conscious and tried to hide from God. When God confronted them, they responded by trying to excuse and defend their behavior. Ugh. This sounds just like me.
A sinful life is not the life to which God has called me. I must reverse this course. While not easy, I know categorically choosing the opposite of Adam and Eve will yield a different result – I must become convinced God’s way is better than my way, I must stop hiding from God, and I must drop my excuses and defenses.
As we begin 2019, I commit to choosing differently. Knowing I cannot be successful on my own, I will rely on God’s promise of help.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).