Scripture: He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “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.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “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.” Genesis 3:1b-5 ESV
Observation: Chapter 3 narrates the Fall from grace, its consequences, and God’s rescue plan. In the above opening verses, we hear of Satan (in the form of a serpent) seducing Eve (with Adam by her side) into disobedience to God’s command. Adam joins his wife in eating the forbidden fruit of certain knowledge reserved only for God. Resultantly, they would lose their childlike quality of faith in God. Indeed, as Satan predicted, they would see and know good and evil by reaching for equality. The Good and the Evil Ones would pass before them, but only the Good One would search and seek their company (3:9).
Takeaway: In this short passage of the Fall, Moses exposes the Devil’s method of operation and foretells God’s plan of salvation. Indeed, the Enemy is a master of questions. While he is not all-knowing, he can discern our weaknesses like any astute observer. And he’s a master at twisting the Truth. But rather than directly confront us and expose his presence in our thought lives, he cleverly poses questions in our minds that we presume we have originated: “Did God say that? Did he mean that?” And Satan will tempt us with the prospect of autonomy that supposedly will bring us greater liberties and pleasure. But sin will always lead us where we don’t want to go: further from our Lord and closer to bondage.
Thankfully, God, unrestricted by time and space, knows every choice and action that all humans will take in their lives. Yet, he still chooses to create and sustain us. Why? Because he desires an intimate relationship with us. He yearns for us to draw near him and walk with him. But sin distances us from God. So from the beginning, he declared a Covenant of Grace: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (3:15).
True to his word, our gracious Father would send his Son into our world to dwell with us and die for us. And while the serpent would suppose he had crushed Christ’s heel, his blow would prove unsuccessful as witnessed by the Resurrection. But Christ would indeed crush the head of Satan: destroying the penalty of sin and one day vanquishing its presence for all eternity—thereby restoring his faithful followers to a new Garden of Eden where there is no knowledge of evil.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for not giving up on us but instead pursuing us at the cost of your Son’s life. Would you please help us discern good and evil in our thought lives and the world around us, that we might walk in the splendor of your ways to the glory of your name? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling