Have you ever found yourself questioning or doubting the goodness of God? It is a slick trick that Satan has been using since the beginning of time as we know it.
Listen to this – in Genesis 3:1 (NLT) we read, “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?’”
The first couple was in a perfect environment – the climate was perfect, and they had no health issues or financial problems. They had a wonderful relationship with each other and also their Creator. They had dominion over everything except “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
God placed Adam in a state of happiness and promised to permanently establish him and his posterity in it if he showed fidelity by obeying the command not to eat the fruit from the one tree in the garden.
Have you ever considered the fact that doubt can be deadly? In the Biblical world, snakes were variously symbolic of life, wisdom, and chaos. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NLT) we read, “These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end, they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.”
When you look closely at what Satan said to Eve you see that he caused her to doubt God’s goodness. He re-interpreted what God had said, “‘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.’” (Genesis 3:4-5 NLT) That is pretty heady stuff – “You will be like God.” Her doubt was replaced with a yearning for that fruit – “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.” (Genesis 3:6 NLT)
Here is the pattern that Satan uses-
· Doubt God’s goodness.
· Yearn for what God has placed off limits.
· Disregard what God has said.
· Disobey the commands of God.
And the end result is disappointment and death.
The results of their disobedience were immediate. Genesis 3:7 (NLT) says, “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”
How often our disobedience leads to disastrous results. Adam and Eve experienced:
· Trying to hide from God
· She would experience pain in childbirth.
· He would have to battle the elements, weeds, and thistles in making a living.
· They were expelled from God’s garden.
· Their natures changed and that imperfect nature has been passed onto all mankind.
In Romans 5:12 (NLT) the Apostle Paul wrote, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” Thank God that was not the final word. We read in Genesis 3:21 (NLT), “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” Here we have a picture of redemption. God in His grace, took an innocent animal, killed it, and covered Adam and Eve with its skin. The Bible says that “he who covers his sins will not prosper….” (Proverbs 28:13 NKJV) That’s why we need a Savior and that is why Jesus came into the world. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit so He did not have an infected nature like ours.
The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) wrote, “For He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jesus – the innocent, sinless Son of God – went to Calvary and died on that cross to atone for our sins. In Romans 6:23 (NKJV) Paul wrote, “For the wages (penalty) of sin is death (separation from God), but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When we welcome Christ into our lives, He brings our dead spirit to life and we are joined to Him. Our sins are forgiven, and we receive a new nature and a personal relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Folks, do not let Satan, our adversary, cause you to doubt the goodness of God. Enjoy the sweet presence and fellowship of your Savior and LORD every day. Live in anticipation of one day being in heaven with Him forever.
For His glory,