Genesis 3:1: “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”?'”

June 17th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Does God really mean what He says? If Satan can get us to question God’s word, to doubt what God has said, then he has successfully opened the door of our minds to sin. That was the root of the temptation that Adam and Eve faced. They weren’t satisfied with all the amazing things God had already given them. They wanted something God had told them they should not have. In order to fall into temptation, they needed to believe the same 2 lies that we fall into believing today. They needed to convince themselves that their choice would have no negative consequences, and that what they were choosing was really good for them, even though God said otherwise.

The old Native American legend illustrates the problem well:

Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees, bright with flowers. There he fasted. But on the third day, as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with dazzling snow. “I will test myself against the mountain,” he thought. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top and stood on the rim of the world, he could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride.

Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke. “I am about to die,” said the snake. “It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.” “No,” said the youth. “I have been warned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me.” “Not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you.” The youth resisted for a while, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and leapt, biting him on the leg. “But you promised . . .” cried the youth. “You knew what I was when you picked me up.” said the snake as it slithered away.1

The temptation to ignore God’s commands arises daily in each of our lives, but it is how we choose to respond to it is that really matters!

“LORD, please give us eyes to see the temptations awaiting us today and help us to choose life by following You.”

1Bits and Pieces, June 1990, pp. 5–7.