“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?'” — Genesis 3:1
I heard a thought recently, perhaps from a sermon on the radio or some Bible commentary, and the takeaway that really stood out dates all the way back to the Garden of Eden. It was something like this: Fundamentally, the enemy of our soul wants us to doubt the goodness of God. Think about it. We’re barely in Genesis 3 when the enemy makes an appearance. His first words: “Did God really say…”
Now, in Genesis 2:16-17, God in His abundant and loving provision tells Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
God gives freely to Adam but provides loving boundaries. The enemy comes in and twists God’s words and makes a loving boundary seem like God is withholding something from Adam and Eve. The rest is history.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, and yet we still fall for it. In a moment of need or worry or sorrow or weakness, we too often listen to the enemy’s twisted words …”Did God really say…”
From the beginning, God has been the generous Giver, the faithful Provider. Romans 8:32 reminds us of this as well: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Just as God freely provided in the Garden of Eden, He freely provided for us in Christ Jesus everything we need to live the abundant life in Christ.
Genesis 3 gives us a glimpse into the enemy’s playbook. He wants us to doubt God’s goodness and stumble over the truth of God’s Word. So how do we respond? We keep our eyes on who Jesus is. We learn more of Him in His Word. We know the Word. It becomes our foundation. We take God at His word. God has always done great things in the lives of men and women who take Him at His word.
How’s the old saying go? The best offense is a good defense. The blessing is that in Ephesians 6 we see that Jesus Christ is both our offense and defense. As long as we follow Him in faith, we can bring home the victory. We are reminded of this in 1 John 5:4: “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
Now that’s something we all need in our playbook.
— Rachel Gibbons
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