“The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!’ . . .
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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:4, 6)
“Listening to things that are not true is the first step toward ultimate bondage and death. … There are no harmless lies. We cannot expose ourselves to the world’s false, deceptive way of thinking and come out unscathed. Eve’s first mistake was not eating the fruit; her first mistake was listening to the Serpent.” —Nancy Leigh DeMoss1
What was Eve thinking? It is easy for us to scan the Genesis 3 account and roll our eyes at Eve’s gullibility. But would we have fared any better in the situation? And honestly, do we manage any better as we battle deception on a daily basis?
One of the most amazing aspects of this biblical account is the fact that Eve so quickly abandoned her loyalty and confidence in her Creator. He had never given her any reason to question His care and commitment to her well-being, and yet she entertained doubts about His motives and character and then proceeded to defy His instructions. But is our progression toward disobedience any different? Do we have any reason to doubt God’s care and commitment to us?
From the moment the serpent spoke words that contradicted her Creator, Eve should have had heard warning alarms sounding!
“You surely will not die!” (Genesis 3:4). Who was this creature to contradict the Master? Not only did he directly contradict God, but he also brought slanderous accusation: “God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (verse 5). The statement was not completely false; Adam and Eve definitely had their eyes opened. But that wasn’t a good thing, and this temptation to “be like God” is vastly overrated.
Why do we put ourselves in the position to function as god, when our godlike qualities are severely limited? We can’t see into the future; we don’t have all power; we can’t fathom the concept of infinity. We even struggle at times to remember what we ate for lunch! And yet we keep trying to step into the God role and take charge of our lives—always the wrong choice.
How can we protect ourselves from this kind of deception? We must become discerning women—women who are trained to recognize error, who are so filled with the truth that when we are exposed to error the contrast is as jolting to us as ice-cold water thrown in the face.
Take Time to Reflect
Read Jesus’ prayer in John 17. What does He refer to as “truth”? What is His main concern for His disciples? Are you easily misled? Do you struggle with being able to discern? What does Hebrews 5:14 say about this? Ask God to mature you in His Word, to use the knowledge of His truths to protect you from error. Consider whether you need to increase your consumption of truth.
1Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free (Chicago: Moody, 2001), 37-38.
Adapted from my True Woman blog post: 09.07.08