The Deceiver

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’?”

Genesis 3:1

Genesis 1-2 gives no word of the battle.  We see God’s creation.  It was good.  God creates Adam.  Then he creates Eve.  The creation narrative ends with Adam and Eve naked and unashamed.  There is trust and transparency in paradise.  Things are very good.  

But wait!  Genesis 3 opens with a crafty snake who subtly suggests that God is not good and he cannot be trusted.  There is an enemy in paradise, an opponent of God, who turns out to be Satan.  

Satan comes to deceive and devour.  What is the satanic strategy?  Listen to his words to Eve:  “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”  

Can you hear the tone, the incredulity?  “I can’t believe it!  Has God really said that you can’t eat of any tree in the garden?  How unfair!”  

What is Satan doing?  He is suggesting that God is not good.  He is questioning God’s love for Eve.  He is casting doubt on God’s goodness to Adam and Eve.  He is insinuating that God is holding back something from Eve that she really needs.  

This is still the satanic strategy.  Satan wants to devour you.  This is his strategy.  

Expect to hear the same voice in your head.  Nothing’s changed.  You will hear a voice suggesting that God is not good, that God does not really love you, that God is unfair to you, that God is hard to please, that God is in fact a cosmic Scrooge.  

Have you heard that voice?  Sure you have.  Recognize its source.  Don’t be naïve about the unseen spiritual war.  

Behind all sin is the suspicion that God isn’t very good and therefore he cannot be trusted.  This is Satan’s main ploy in his quest to ruin your life and devour your soul.  

You will hear things like this:  

“God is being so unfair in what he says about divorce (or adultery or honesty in your business or generous giving or forgiving your father or Christians marrying only Christians or pornography).”

“God is holding back something I need to make me happy.”

“What applies to others doesn’t apply to me.  My situation is different.”  

Don’t listen!  Shut your ears to the voice of the deceiver!  Stand firm in Christ’s strength!