My husband is famous for saying over and over, "It all started in the Garden." Ask any of our Sunday school members and they will assure you that this is his favorite saying. This is also a true statement for all the problems we face today as a the result of believing a lie in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve fell into sin because they took their eyes off of their Creator and focussed instead on the prohibition to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From that time until now, we have all lived with the fallen nature inherited from our first parents. So what did Satan whisper in Eve's ear that twisted her understanding so that she was led to sin?
In their conversation the Serpent injected doubt into Eve's thinking as seen in Genesis 3:1: "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’?” Planting doubt leads to mistrust and that is exactly what happened to Eve. She began to doubt the character of God...His goodness, His care, His wisdom, His love for them. This is one reason why we are so fortunate to have the whole Word of God to counsel and guide us. As we read its pages, we are drawn into knowing the full character of God. As a result, doubt is driven away and our minds are renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit applying the Word to our lives.
Our flesh wants to look out for "self" and this is exactly what Satan appealed to when he spoke to Eve in the Garden. He did not come out and attack God directly but insinuated that He was holding out on His creation. The Lord did not want them to have the wisdom He had or at least this is the impression that the Enemy gave to Eve. Instead of seeing God's love and glory, she saw Him as the One who wanted to deprive her of joy. As Sinclair Ferguson says so well: "Eve's rejection of God's law (antinomianism) was in fact the fruit of her distorted view of God (legalism)" (Location 1510 "The Whole Christ").
Eve's twisted thinking is also ours until that time that God opens our eyes to the truth. In coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as both our Savior and Lord, our thinking begins to change. We come to see God's character, and the love that will never let us go. He removes the stony heart of selfish pride and replaces it with the tender heart that finds joy in knowing Him. It is a transformation that delivers us from a rebellious, self-centered worldview we have had since the day we were born.
When I hear people tell me that God has too many restrictions and takes all the fun out of living, then I know they have never come to know His character and experience His forgiveness in Christ. They are talking like Eve and falling for the lies of the enemy. Life in this world without the Savior is bondage. If we do not believe that, all we have to do is look around us and see the turmoil in this world. God made a perfect place in Eden, but man chose to sin rather than obey.
We do not have to believe the lies of the Serpent for we have the truth found only in the Bible. It is there for us to read each day. Daily we should cleanse our minds by looking into its pages and seeing the truth that God has for us. What happened to Eve does not have to happen to us. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Therefore, let us take a lesson from our first parents. Instead of doubt, let us trust the Lord with all our hearts. Selah!