Monday, June 18, 2007

Trusting the Wrong Voices

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”
- Genesis 3:1-6

There’s one thing about the fall of mankind I guess I’ll never understand. Picture this! Adam and Eve are in a beautiful garden surrounded by waterfalls, sunny skies, beautiful trees, and fields of flowers. They don’t have to work for their food – yet food is abundant. The animals graze in the garden, and they’re with them all day. They see flamingos, dolphins, elephants, buffalo, zebras, elk and tree frogs. They watch them as they play with their young, find their own food, and learn their ways.

So how is it that when a snake talks to Eve she doesn’t just back up and say “What? How come you’re able to talk and the other animals don’t?” Why didn’t this cause her to have the danger sirens go off in her head? Especially when the first thing he says is wrong and twisted! His first words to her (and the first in the entire Bible) were “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Of course God hadn’t forbid them to eat of all the trees! Just one tree was off limits. How could Eve have been so misguided as to listen to a talking Serpent over the voice of God?

I think the answer is in her response to the serpent. She told the serpent, the father of lies, Satan, what God had said. Keep in mind, she’d received second-hand knowledge of the rules – not personal knowledge. God had told Adam not to eat of the tree before she was created. The Bible never says God told Eve. She did not apply the knowledge God had given to them as a way of her own life. She couldn’t say, “I don’t eat of that tree because I know it’s dangerous to me.” Instead, she simply quoted what God had said to Adam. Because she had not applied these laws to her own heart, she was quick to accept the words she heard from the voice of the serpent. She believed the lie when he said they would be “like God”. She believed a talking serpent instead of God the creator who walked with them daily in the garden.

That little bit of doubt that the serpent had given her was all she needed to change her mind. I often wonder when verse 6 says, “the woman saw that the tree was good for food” how she came to this conclusion. The only thing I can figure is the serpent ate it in front of her. Somehow, she recognized that this fruit that she’d never even touched before was good to eat. She also recognized that it was pleasant to the eyes, and began to lust for it, to even crave it.

Then the lie that it would make her wise like God began to set in. The serpent must have known that being wise was something she wanted – otherwise he would have tempted her with something else. If he were to try to convince women today to eat the fruit, he would probably “This miracle fruit will cause you to lose 20 pounds in one day!” We’d all be lined up around the tree pushing people over to get at the last fruit on the top of the tree! But when he first spoke to her to test her knowledge of God’s command concerning the trees, he must have heard something in her voice that told him she wanted to be seen as wise.

The serpent had said it, and he’d eaten the fruit and not died. Eve began to think on what she’d heard. She began to meditate on the voice of the serpent. Without personal knowledge of the truth of God, Eve’s heart was unclaimed territory. She let Satan enter into her thoughts. Surely God was not being honest with them, surely she should believe the serpent. It was easier to believe the serpent now because she wanted the fruit more than she did anything in the garden! So she ignored God and ate.

What voice are you listening to? Is it the voice of God, or the voice of a talking serpent? One way to know is to compare the words you hear with God’s word. Anything in contrary to the scriptures is of Satan – plain and simple. Find out what God says about the subject at hand before you make a single step. And if you find the voices you’re listening to don’t agree with God, walk away and don’t let yourself be tempted! Those voices can entangle you in a life of sin that will only lead to death, curses, and desolation.

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