The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, "Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?" Genesis 3:1
My kids can often twist my own words. For instance, the other week I told them, "You can't fight when you are inside our house!" They heard those words, and I made sure they had an understanding. Then, a few hours later, I heard some screaming from the backyard. I ran out back to see Samuel and Jesse wrestling. I said, "Sam, I just told you not to fight!" He said, "No, dad. You said we couldn't fight inside the house. We are outside now. It's fine!"
This twisting of words and thoughts isn't original to the Poe household. In fact, in the Garden of Eden, Satan was the first to twist the Word of God. God had clearly instructed Adam that he was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam shared this instruction with his wife, Eve. Satan comes in the form of a serpent and asks Eve a question to introduce doubt. His question was, "Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?" She engages in the conversation and clearly states they could eat from all but one tree. Satan was just baiting her into the conversation to lead her to a place where she would doubt the goodness of God. Satan's word to Eve was that God was holding out on them. He twists what she knows is true and whispers half-truths in her ears.
Satan still twists God's word in our minds today. We begin to wonder and ask questions in our mind like:
Did God say that He was the only way to heaven? Really?
Did God really intend that marriage to only be only for a man & a woman? What if believing this is now viewed as biased, judgmental, and hateful?
Did God really ask that we give a portion of our income back to Him? What about when you're short financially every month?
Satan has a way of twisting things that are good and biblically sound into something that is now viewed as bad culturally. This is exactly what Satan wants. He loves it when people identify things that are good as evil and in the same respect when people regard evil as good. In the Bible, the Israelites fell back into this same trap quite often. Each time God lovingly corrected His people, and they came back to the truth of His Word. Those who stay connected to the truth, ignoring the lies of the evil one, are prepared for this Forgotten War. Those who don't are setting themselves up for a fall.
As you take time to process that schemes of Satan, work through the following questions in your notes:
In your life, how have you personally seen Satan twist the Word of God?
What are some things you have observed that are skewed in our culture that celebrates what is evil and reprimands what is good?
What are we to do as followers of Jesus in a culture that is lost?
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Then he said to the woman,
“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.”
And to the man he said,
“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”
Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.