Monday, February 16, 2009


Have you ever been duped by a dog, out-witted by a rat, out-smarted by a snake? Just because God gave us thumbs, doesn’t mean we always have the upper hand. Case in point: We moved to Vancouver, WA in early August ‘07, and I was visiting my friend. I noticed colorful, plastic-cling floral decorations on a basement walk-out glass door. Though this may not seem out of the ordinary to you, in the elegantly tasteful décor of my friend’s home, these $1.99 florals seemed misplaced. Imagine my embarrassment when she noticed my ogling. “A bird,” she said, exasperated. “Every spring it slams into this glass unless I put those clingy things up.” So our first spring in Washington, imagine my surprise when a psycho bird found our house. (The bird in the pic above is NOT our robin, but proves there are other such psycho birds throughout the US, so beware!) A giant robin slammed into my sliding glass door one morning and nearly scarred me and my 80 lb. Rottweiler to pieces! It didn’t just hit the glass and fall or fly away. Oh, no. It hit the glass and clawed at it with its feet, like it was trying to get in! Yikes! I ran to the window and shooed it away. The retched thing sat on the fence ten feet away and eyed me. You know, with that beady little eye on the side of its head. I walked away, and it flew at the glass again. We played that little game all day! I pulled the blinds. Didn’t work. I shuttered the blinds. Helped for a while, but then it attacked the windshield of my father-in-law’s motor home. He put up his reflection shield in the dash, and it attacked my dining room window. I now believe that Alfred Hitchcock must have lived in Vancouver, Washington before he directed, “The Birds,” movie. And if a silly robin can be so crafty, can you imagine how cunning a Satan-embodied serpent could be?

SERPENT: A hint of accusation that twisted the truth.
EVE: A righteous exaggeration that engaged the lie.
SERPENT: A direct contradiction that spawned the doubt.
EVE: A progressive rationalization that killed us all.

Gen. 3:1 – “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’”
  • A hint of accusation that twisted the truth. Do you hear the veiled accusation against God’s character in the serpent’s question? It was true that God created one tree from which He restricted humankind. But all the other trees in the Garden were theirs for food (Gen. 2:9,16). But Satan’s lie held a kernel of truth – as is often the case. It’s what makes him so infuriatingly difficult to ignore, so impossible to overcome with human reasoning.

Gen. 3:2-3 – “The woman said to the serpent, ‘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.”’”

  • A righteous exaggeration that engaged the lie. Though Eve sounds as though she’s disagreeing with the serpent, she’s doing exactly the serpent had just done. She’s twisting God’s Words, making Him appear harsher than He is. God never said they couldn’t touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:9,16-17 – see below) – only that they couldn’t eat of its fruit. Sometimes we, as human beings, place harsher rules on ourselves and others than God’s Word intends – much to Satan’s delight. And, by the way, there were two trees in the middle of the Garden. To hear Eve’s version, you’d think she only saw one. Perhaps she only focused on the one she couldn’t have.

Gen. 3:4-5 – “‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

  • A direct contradiction that spawned the doubt. Before sin is borne, doubt is conceived. Satan’s first direct contradiction of God’s Word – “God is a Liar.” Notice he fuels it immediately, casting more suspicion on God’s character. Notice also the repeated seed of truth – their eyes would indeed be opened, knowing good from evil. Adam and Eve had been created in God’s image, but perhaps they saw this one area of knowledge that He’d held back from them, and they were discontent.

Gen. 3:6-7 – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

  • A progressive rationalization that killed us all. Using our “best” judgment, especially when it’s been influenced by twisted truth and manipulated motives, is not always “best.” Accountability. Counsel. Community. All crucial when wrestling with temptation. Eve’s community was admittedly small – Adam and God. But who else would she have needed? Eve listened only to her internal rationalizations.

Lord, sometimes I don’t ask for help because I know the advice will tell me what I don’t want to hear – and I want what I want. Sometimes I don’t ask because I’m embarrassed or afraid I’m an imposition. Give me the humility, the courage, the willingness to ask others for godly counsel. Give me wisdom to seek out those who will speak Your wisdom. Give me a heart that cries out to You for help, when I hear the first taunts of a cunning enemy.

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