This is a true story that happened long, long ago that is recreated every day in every life. It is an ongoing story. This is the story of how truth was traded for a lie. It is an exchange of life for death. It is why we experience loss, pain, and everything else that is less than perfect. But, in the beginning, it was not so. In the beginning, everything was good. God had created everything that had been made; and all was perfect, a delightful world full of goodness and truth.
Into this delightful paradise, a beautiful creature approached an exquisite woman. It was Eve the woman God had created to be with Adam. It was an interesting interaction. Although this creature was a snake, it wasn’t scary. So with cunning finesse, the snake began to skillfully question the very words of God. Oh, and just as carefully, the snake avoided calling God by His name. For Yahweh was God’s personal name meaning, “I Am He Who is and Will Be.” In a small, but subtle move, the deceiver deftly attempted to demote God. Did not the daughter of God consider this? A creature who did not acknowledge God as God—was it not a reason to leave this guileful conversation? Doubt and confusion swirled in the carefully crafted intrusion, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”
The daughter of God was created to love Yahweh with all of her heart, soul, mind and strength. Her love for Yahweh was to be supreme, and His words were to be her joy and life. Nevertheless, in a great reversal, Eve listened to the contagious lies spoken by the artful creature; and she herself then turned and judged the words of her Creator. So, with a few modifications, she answered, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Wait, oh daughter of God! Your Creator God delegated his authority and commanded you to rule over the earth. Rule over this damning creature! Instead, suppressing the truth, Eve exchanged the worship of God for self-gratification. The serpent seized the opportunity to rule over the world with his darkness. Stealthfully, he answerd, “You will not surely die.” Ironically, the serpent’s bold contradiction would bring death.
God alone is the standard for absolute truth. We are to worship God in truth in our inner being, the deepest parts of our heart! Made in His image, we are to reflect His character, His magnificent glory! Oh, Eve, do not turn away from all that is good! Let your heart rise in thankfulness to your Creator. All of Him, His words, His works are good and right and greatly to be praised.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” the serpent continued. The serpent watched Eve closely as she considered an alternative way to be like God. Could this be? Is there more than one way?
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh which is a beautiful humility that honors and worships His greatness. There is only one way to wisdom, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear God, and turn away from evil.”
In a soul-crushing turn, Eve despised wisdom and leaned on her own understanding. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”
Relying on her own experiences and desires, Eve actively pursued her own satisfaction. Eve did not allow her experience to be shaped by God’s words alone. She trusted her own feelings and experience to guide her; and convinced that she was right, she influenced her husband to do as she had done.
Adam and Eve’s eyes were immediately opened to their nakedness. They attempted to cover their bare bodies. It wasn’t their clothes that they had lost; it was their righteousness. Their sin left them unacceptable and totally exposed before God. They no longer had truth in their inner most heart, and now this man and woman had a wrong fear of God, a fear of being known by God. But, God did see, and know, and did call for them. Would they tell Him what He already knew? Would they humble their hearts and tell God the truth? No. They no longer enjoyed his presence, so they sought to hide from God. It was their sin that now separated them from God.
The deceiver would rule the world for a very long time, and darkness entered the world holding it in its bondage. Sin and death were a new reality. It would take a snake-crusher to free the world from the power of darkness held by the soul-crusher.
This story is enacted every day. Every day the deceiver brings doubt and confusion to persuade people from God’s life-giving Word. Every day humanity judges God’s Word rather than coming under its rule and authority. Every day, people choose to rely on their own experiences and feelings to guide them rather than holding on to every word of God as truth and life.
But, this story does not go on forever. The snake-crusher has come to deliver us from the tyranny of sin’s deception. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” There is only one way. There is only one absolute and supreme Truth. Life is only in Jesus. Anything else is an alternative choice that leads to an inescapable death. One day, the ancient serpent who leads the whole world astray will be eternally punished. This is the second death and it never ends. Jesus Christ will make all things new. In the new heavens and earth, “nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful.”