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’?” 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.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
I have read and re-read this text many times. I have wrote a number of things about the fall and have seen it from many angles. Yet this morning I see it again with a fresh set of eyes.
Satan questions God, and Eve’s memory of what God had said. He then uses the promise of death against her. I think Satan knew that disobedience to God would not cause sudden death to Adam and Eve. If you can imagine being there; after Eve reached out, grabbed the fruit and ate; there was probably a moment of pause, waiting to see if she would fall over dead. When this did not instantaneously happen, Eve was probably assured for a brief moment that Satan was right and God was wrong. God promised death. Satan told Eve that she would not surely die. After she ate, it appeared that God had been mistaken and Satan was indeed right.
How sick this is that we can be deceived by a twist of the truth. How bad it can be when we are not clear about the meaning of words. We should get in the habit of always asking clarifying questions to help guard us from ambiguity and arbitrariness.
(questions for the kids)
- Look up ambiguous and arbitrary and explain their meaning.
- How can Jesus help us so that we aren’t led astray by such twists of truth.
- What can we do to help each other not be led astray?