Did God Really Say?

Lent Devotion #3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 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.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

[Genesis 3: 1-7]

In this world, we are always being tempted. In fact, since creation, sin has incessantly tempted us. But sin has always tempted us the same way since the garden. In this passage we see that first, Satan makes us question God’s word. Throughout scripture, God’s word is life-giving and satisfying. It is by His word that He created the world. It was by His word that the dead bones came to life in Ezekiel’s vision. It was His word that David delighted in day and night. God’s word is our source of life, and satan chooses to attack it first. Next, Satan further tempts Eve by suggesting that eating the fruit would make her like God. The root of sin has always been one thing since the beginning: Sin is when we trade God’s will for our own. Sin is when we trade God’s glory for our own (Rom 1:21-23). Sin is when we put ourselves in a place that belongs only to God. Satan tempts us with the same desire he was guilty of, wanting to take the place of God. How amazing that the gospel is Jesus STEPPING OUT from His place with God to save us. Paul writes in Philippians 2,

“Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Eventually Eve succumbs to her desires when she sees that the tree is “good for food”, a “delight to the eyes”, and will “make one wise”. The apostle John called this the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In other words, foolishly we rationalize sin. How often do we listen to ungodly music and call it catchy and pleasant to the ears? How often do we watch sinful movies because the trailer “looked good”? How often do we sin in the name of “experience” and “living life”? Satan has been tempting us the same way since the beginning of the world, and we have consistently fell for it. “Wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death? Praise be to our Lord through Jesus Christ” (Rom 7: 24-25). During this time of lent, let us examine the areas of our life where we are giving into our lusts and temptations. May God strengthen us to walk according to His spirit.

Prayer: Holy Father, I am a sinner. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It is seemingly impossible to escape the lusts of this world. I am sorry for compromising your holiness. Please let your spirit work in me to purify my desires. Give me the strength to walk according to your ways, without compromise. The same power that conquered the grave lives in me- whom shall I fear? Keep me from stumbling, Amen.

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