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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 44: Evil entices Eve

Evil entices Eve?

“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.’ ” (Genesis 3:1-3)

The cunning serpent engaged with Eve and asked her a question. Innocent Eve engaged with him by answering. She shared her heart; he was keen to capture her heart. Motivation is key to what is good and what is evil.

Satan wanted to entrap Eve. Eve was Adam’s helper, and so it is reasonable to conclude that she wanted to help him. But she got distracted.

Let us not get distracted

Eve said she couldn’t even touch the fruit! This was an exaggeration. Rather than thinking it was a lie, I reckon Eve believed what she said: if she touched that fruit, she would die!

When Satan heard her exaggeration, and saw her intensity, he used it against her. He sowed doubt.

Genesis 3:4-5 says, “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.”

I wonder that his voice wasn’t soothing (manipulative) and calm, stroking her with words that would entice her with his false gentleness in contrast to GOD’s awesome and frightening power.

Remember, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) tells us we are made to fear GOD. 

Don’t touch!

Perhaps Eve touched the fruit. It’s logical to imagine that she looked, and touched it to test the danger. Then, when she didn’t die, perhaps she concluded the perceived threat was unfounded. 

When Eve “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 3:6)

Eve got distracted, thought and doubted the danger. Then in her attempt to be helpful, she put Adam first before GOD, inviting him to eat. 

The consequence of this was absolute mayhem!

The cunning serpent, who’s motive was to destroy GOD’s Creation, distracted Eve from her calling to help her husband and enticed her to doubt GOD. Eve, desiring to be helpful to Adam, tested GOD’s word and found it wanting. She chose to follow the voice of the serpent and her own inner desire, rather than to trust GOD’s warning.

Adam’s fall

Satan engaged with Eve; he set her up. Adam was present and allowed her to be deceived. He observed, he took the fruit and ate as she had eaten. 

What was his motivation? I think Adam didn’t want to lose Eve. Just as she prioritised Adam over GOD, so did Adam put Eve first rather than GOD. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

More about Adam next week.

Blessings and prayers for ourselves… Let’s keep ourselves on the mission the LORD has given us, without getting distracted from our major task which is to love and obey the Father of Life.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Is GOD Demanding?

Is GOD demanding?

Not in my view.

I personally feel that, given He is the Creator of the Universe and has sent His son to die in exchange for our rescue from hell on earth and eternal damnation, whatever Yehovah GOD might stipulate for a peaceful and joyful existence for us is perfectly reasonable. Is GOD demanding? I don’t think so…. But He’s clear about positive and negative consequences of our actions.

I want to take a look at a couple of chapters in Deuteronomy that will help us understand better the principle from Luke 12:48, To whom much is given, from him much will be required.

A read of Deuteronomy 18-20

Our heavenly Father asks the Hebrews (and fast forward to today, that includes those saved by His grace) to be different from the people of the lands surrounding. “For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.” (Deuteronomy 18:14)

He goes on to promise them a prophet; one who is genuinely of GOD will be proven to be so, through the fulfilment of his prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:15-22).

What does GOD say about wickedness

Let’s have a look at the LORD’s declarations…

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD…” 

So, GOD is clear about whom to follow and what not to follow.

GOD sets up refuge

In Deuteronomy 19, GOD distinguishes between accidental injury leading to death vs murder. He sets up property structure and inheritance law. He distinguishes between true and false testimony, and makes it abundantly clear that, “Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye…” in the context of deliberate guilt “so shall you put away the evil from among you” (Deuteronomy 19:19)

The motive for GOD’s strictness is not so much to punish the guilty but rather to protect the innocent. The key is to deal with malicious intent, motive, for the sake of the innocent. 

We see this played out in Acts 5 when Ananias and Sapphire lie to Holy Spirit.

“Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Peter no sooner makes this statement that Ananias — and later his wife — dies. They each have the opportunity to come clean about their falsehood, but do not. Therefore, they experience the same consequence. It is harsh, but it is protective for the young Church. And they die, not because they didn’t give all their money away but because they claimed they did. Big difference.

Motive matters to GOD

It is less our behaviour that matters to GOD but more the motive behind our behaviour. We make mistakes. That’s behaviour. But we repent and move forward. That’s purification and the process of forgiveness.

This purity is what GOD wanted for the Hebrews, it is what He wanted for the early church. And it is what He seeks today amongst His children of faith. Now however, because of Jesus’ sacrifice and our surrender to Him in becoming born again, we are purified supernaturally. Repentance is the gateway to forgiveness… rather than punishment (though we can suffer consequences of our actions in the natural).

When GOD’s people venture into the promised land, they are told, “you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive…. lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 20:16-18) He wants His people to avoid temptation, to remain pure.

GOD is protective

Like a loving and committed father, GOD covers us. Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37)

And so, GOD does not ask what we cannot do with His help. He seeks to relate with us intimately and to protect us. In this world of darkness and evil, He wants us to be safe and so He sets standards within which we have absolute freedom.

GOD is not demanding. He is protective of His children, always has been, and I reckon, He always will be.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 26: The Power Struggle

Genesis 1 closes with the following verses,

“And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

GOD gave… everything… to Adam. And then, at the end of this sixth day, GOD rested from His creation, having given all to the man whom he made in His own image, to rule over and to tend it.

Hallelujah!

But how does this knowledge prepare us in our own journey with Him? We need to recognise the power struggle.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Why did GOD make Man?

IF as I suggested as a possibility last week (https://laruspress.com/gods-story-part-25-mankind-is-created-why/ ), that GOD made man in response to Lucifer’s fall, what is the ultimate significance of this?

We are here on this earth because GOD created us. After Lucifer was cast out of fellowship with GOD and fell to the earth (Hebrews 1:14), Satan, the devil who had been the angel Lucifer, observed Creation. Would he not have heard the commission of GOD to Adam? Can we imagine that he waited for his moment and then tricked Eve and tempted Adam to sin? This power play against GOD led to Adam’s mortality and his removal from Eden. 

The struggle between GOD and Satan, the struggle for power continues to this day. Of course GOD has infinite power and has already won…. we who have read the Book know the ending. The timing for the fruition of all is in His hands.

The Power Plays

I have a theory based upon Biblical history and contemplation — an unproved conscious thought:

While GOD is waiting for man’s salvation back to Himself, the Angels are worshipping GOD (Revelation 5:11-14) and Satan, GOD’s jealous competitor, is doing all he can (using the demons who fell with him) to thwart GOD, attempting to prove he is His equal. He uses man against GOD in his war for power. 

GOD created mankind, His motive to create beauty and relationship.

Lucifer was proud and so was cast out of heaven and fell to earth…. Jealous and full of envy at the relationship between GOD and man, he sought to foil that relationship. He used the serpent to entice Eve, perhaps because the serpent had anticipated he would be the one having dominion, not foreseeing the creation of man, a creature superior to himself, and not relishing being dominated by man. 

And so two sides are drawn with man in the middle.

But GOD

But GOD is not only the author of Creation and the author of this story, but He knows the beginning from the end, and is in fact the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The power play must run its course and in the meantime, opportunity for salvation continues and comes to fruition over and over again. Satan destroys but GOD brings life. And so it will continue until the end of this Age and beyond.

One day the power struggle will end

“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

And then the new heaven and new earth will come (Revelation 21:1) where the power struggle is over.

In the meantime, we need not be pawns at the disposal of Satan but be knights in GOD’s army. He seeks and saves the lost. We are His hands and feet.

So, while the power struggle rages, we on the LORD’s side, seek to save the lost. This is our calling and this is His victory.

Next time we will look to Genesis Chapter Two…