God who is good. God who is King, created all and it was good. God who is good, created man and woman in his image and it was very good. God loved his creation. God loved all of the works of his hands. God loved man and woman and walked with them daily. Man and woman were completely naked with God and felt no shame.
Now God, who is good and God who is King, gave all of creation to man and woman. It was theirs to enjoy, to work, to eat and to tend. There were trees of every kind and man and woman could eat of their fruit and enjoy all that was made.
With one exception.
God who is good and God who is King knew man and woman intimately and knew that they were not created to judge, they were not created to decipher good and evil, for this was not their created design. Therefore, God, being good, commanded the man and woman to refrain from eating the fruit of one tree. This tree was unique. This tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and it was planted in the middle of the garden and served as a reminder of God and as an invitation to trust his love and character.
One invitation to trust and believe.
One tree, in all of creation could not be eaten.
Man and woman worked and enjoyed creation together. They had a unified relationship with their good God, their King! And all was very good.
Now, God had an enemy, in fact, God still has the very same enemy. This enemy is opposed to life. This enemy is opposed to all that is good. This enemy is opposed to truth. This enemy hates, accuses, destroys and kills. This enemy hated man and woman, for they, reminded him of the good God who is King over all.
This enemy knows only one language and his language is deception. Every word from his mouth was and is full of lies and accusations. Every word seeks to destroy the image of the good God, given to man and woman.
The enemy’s hatred for man and woman was deep and he had in mind to destroy them.
As man and woman worked the garden, the enemy approached and spoke to them. “Did your good God, your King, really say…?”
Doubt. A short start to a question, but the enemy of truth knew exactly what he was doing. If he could place doubt in the man and woman he could possibly change their belief about God and themselves.
The conversation that followed went a little like this:
“Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the serpent (the enemy), “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
“You will not certainly die,” The serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
A doubt. A misquote. The spoken expectation. A lie! Another lie.
The enemy in two short paragraphs invited the woman to believe a lie as though it were true. The enemy went straight for her jugular, her identity! First by accusing God of holding out on the woman, therefore accusing him of not being good. And second, the enemy accused the woman and man of being imperfect and less than, as he told them they were missing out on this knowledge.
Two paragraphs; Riddled with lies, accusations and invitations to believe the opposite of truth.
And just like that… the woman, tragically…. agreed.
“Yes! I believe you! I believe God must be holding out on me. God must have made a mistake when he made me, otherwise I wouldn’t need the fruit of that tree to grow in any way. Yes, I believe!”
Do you know the temptation to believe a lie? Have you ever heard the voice of an accuser? Have you ever agreed with his words?
What do you think or feel as you read this?