Tuesday, September 23, 2008
What? You Mean It Was True!!! (Part II)
When last we left our Hero, He had given specific instructions to the first man and woman to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. An intruder, however, has come into the garden to tempt sweet innocent Eve . . .
As any good husband would, Adam warned his wife about God's instructions. However, Eve got the story a little twisted. The Adversary (disguised as a serpent) asked her: "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'"? You see, this was a very loaded question. First of all, God never said that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from "any tree in the garden". He only forbade the tree in the center of the garden; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Second, the Adversary was subtly bringing doubt on the Word of God. To this very day, God is being charged with things that He has never said in His Word and He is being misrepresented by distortions of what He has said in His Word. As we are about to see, loose lips certainly do sink ships.
Oblivious to the Adversary's ploy, Eve volunteers a distortion of her own. She stated that God said, " 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.’” Notice the subtle addition that she made, "neither shall you touch it". God never said that. You might say "big deal, if they didn't touch it; they certainly couldn't eat from it". This is true, however, it gave the serpent more to work with in inducing doubt into Eve about her Creator.
Now the serpent lowers the boom, "You will not surely die. 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 Adversary audaciously impugns the character of God. By this statement he accuses the triune God of lying, jealousy and insecurity. Assailing God's character, casting doubt on the veracity of His Word(s) and portraying Him as an evil dictator has been the serpents tactic since the garden and he continues it to this very day. As I previously stated, the adversary is powerless before the triune God; so his only hope is to distort Him to us or destroy us in order to get at Him.
So what was Adam doing during this dialogue between his wife and the talking snake? Well Scripture makes it clear that he was right there with Eve, yet he said nothing. I can't begin to explain this. As you might have guessed Eve, drawn by the beauty of the tree's fruit, eats and also gets silent Adam to join in. If I may come to ol' Adam's defense for just a moment, when a beautiful naked woman asks you to have some fruit . . . you have some fruit!
With this act all creation is cast into utter bondage. This act of disobedience to the clear command of God introduces that thing which severs man from his creator and deprives man of spiritual, volitional, and ultimately physical life. That thing is SIN. You might say, "is it really that deep"? Yes, it is. Wrapped up in that little piece of fruit was mankind's whole future. Had they obeyed and not eaten the fruit Adam and Eve and thereby all of their descendants would have lived forever in perfection with their triune God. By eating the fruit, they committed treason on the grandest scale against their triune God and ushered in all of the evil, sickness, war, famine, pestilence and death that you see overrunning our world today.
You are probably saying that that is much too great a penalty for such a simple transgression. It was just a piece of fruit. Consider who was transgressed against in this event. This triune God is the more than the supreme example of holiness, goodness, truth, justice, love, mercy, faithfulness, power or any other superlative you can think of. HE is the being who gives these words their meaning . . . and then some!!! Adam and Eve by their disobedience sided with and trusted a snake. Need I say more. The question that now might be asked is, is the triune God petty and vindictive in banning the first couple from His garden and declaring their death? ABSOLUTELY NOT! As I said, He already knew what was going to happen and He already planned the outcome. This outcome would be the most glorious outcome "inconceivable" . . .
Is it all over for Adam and Eve? Has the Adversary overthrown God's creation? Is God wringing His hands in despair? Is Obama really a muslim? The answer to these questions and more, next time when: The Umpire Strikes Back!
Be Like the Berans, Baby!!! (Acts 17:11)