A tough morning lesson from the book of Genesis (“genesis” means “origin). This is a tough lesson because it will strike at the core of our being. We will be faced with the reality that we think we’re wiser than God. The reality is, God loves us and provides His wisdom to us in Christ Jesus. I am weak, but He is strong!
“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” chapter 3, verse 13
SCENE: The Woman (Hebrew word = “ishshah”) and the Man (Hebrew word = “adam”) have eaten the fruit of the tree they were commanded not to eat. Their act of disobedience against Yahweh, the Creator, has changed things forever. The Man (“adam”), has acted cowardly and childlike. He has failed in his responsibility to Woman, and, like a child, blames someone else for his irresponsibility. In this case, he blames Woman and God.
Yahweh asks Woman, “What is this you’ve done?”
She replies, “It was the serpent. He deceived me, and I ate.”
LESSON: Deception is subtle. Deceived people believe they’re making good decisions.
The Woman and Man were not acting in a rebellious fit of rage against God when they ate the fruit. They were deceived. They did not wake up that morning in the garden and, over breakfast, decide to fight against Yahweh later that day. They were deceived. They did not willfully decide to wreck humanity and nature. They were deceived. Deceived into defiance. Consider the details:
After some effort (this Woman was not easily swayed!) the serpent’s seeds of deception finally take root in the Woman. She questions the truth, goodness and authority of God. Then, “The Woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that is was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.”
Do you see the subtlety of the deception? The Woman believed she was making a good decision. She didn’t see a tree full of poisonous berries. She didn’t see rotting fruit. She didn’t think eating the fruit would cause her to become foolish. She saw
– the fruit was healthy // “the tree was good for food”
– the fruit was beautiful // “delightful to look at”
– the fruit was beneficial // “desirable for obtaining wisdom”
When Man and Woman ate this fruit, they believed they were making a good decision. Alas, their decision, based on deception, was fatal.
They were deceived into defiance.
Yahweh clearly provided wisdom: “On the day you eat the fruit from that tree, you will die” (Genesis 2.16).
Humanity chose to act upon their own wisdom. Their wisdom led them to defy God’s design, thus putting them at enmity with Yahweh.
Whew. That’s heavy. That’s me in the garden: subtly being deceived…
If you’re being deceived today, it won’t be obvious. The deception will be subtle. There will be a series of decisions made that on the surface appear harmless, but when inspected, will produce nothing but bad. Be careful about the small decisions you make today. Let the decisions be rooted in God’s Wisdom, which is found clearly in His Word and applied to our lives through the Holy Spirit. Don’t have a bible on your desk, or can’t look at your phone all day? MEMORIZE THE WORD. And MEDITATE upon God’s wisdom during the day. He gave us His wisdom for our good.
Chances are you didn’t wake up today with plans to have an affair. So rethink that “harmless” lunch or text message.
Chances are you didn’t wake up today with plans to gossip. So rethink what you’re going to do with that juicy information in your possession. Chances are you didn’t wake up with plans to deeply resent and fight with your co-worker, teacher or boss, so pause before engaging in the usual passive-aggressive words or actions. Chances are you didn’t wake up today with plans to throw a fitful rage of rebellion against our merciful and loving God. So be careful that you’re not “drawn away and enticed by your own evil desires.”
When we’re deceived into thinking our wisdom trumps God’s wisdom, then we’re on the road of defiance headed to the city of destruction.
Thanks be to God that His kindness leads us to repent from our foolishness and that in Christ Jesus, we have all we need for life and godliness!
Remember how our Lord taught us to pray: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Hallelujah! What a Saviour!