Saturday, 5 November 2011

Reliving the Encounter with the Devil

In the beginning God created the human species, and everything was very good.  They had an excellent relationship.  God would come down in the cool of the day and would commune with mankind.  Then enters the serpent on the scene, possessed no doubt by the devil. 
“So God says you shouldn’t eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, huh?”
“Yes, that’s what He said.”
“Well,” said the serpent, quite possibly between the bites of the fruit forbidden to humans, “it’s actually very good for food.  And more than that, if you eat it, it’ll make you wise like…like God Himself.  How do you think that I, a serpent could be talking to you this way?  It really works, try it.”
“I’m scared; God said it’ll kill me if I ate it.”
“Do you see me keeling over?  Trust me, nothing will happen to you.  God…well He kinda likes to be God, you know, all wise and all powerful.  And you see He knows that no sooner than you eat this fruit, that’s it; you’re like Him, and you won’t have to depend on Him like you do now.  Don’t you wanna be like God?”
“Are you sure?”
“Trust me,” said the serpent with a diabolical look of faked earnestness and hurt at not being trusted.
At first there was nothing, except the succulent delight of eating the forbidden fruit.  It was no better in quality than any of the other fruits in the Garden of Eden – everything was very good – but it sure tasted that way.  Just something about indulging in the forbidden.
“Eve!” What have you done?
“No, no, no, it’s okay.  Do you notice anything different about me?”
“Well, that’s it.  Nothing.  Nothing has happened to me, and God said we would die.  And what’s more, it is ‘Sooo Gooood.  Try it.”
“I don’t know about this.”
“Adam, this is Eve your wife, the love of your life, trust me, nothing will happen to you.  Just try it.”  With the change already taking place in her, Eve’s facial expression showed that her ego was beginning to be bruised by Adam’s hesitance to accede to her wish – already demonstrating the first lesson from the Devil.
“I really don’t think we should be doing this.”  And so against his better judgment Adam ate the fruit to appease his wife, who for the first time since their union had started to show signs of being hurt.  He was surprised, scared, and concerned about this strange exhibition from Eve, not realizing the fact that sin had entered her.
While that exchange took place the serpent was looking on as though he were a proud father of a daughter who had done well.  But no sooner than Adam had eaten the fruit, the uncomfortable expression on his face was quickly reset to match the dark evil that possessed his heart.  And with an abandon that seemed certain that its victory was secured; the human species had proven his claims against God to be true, he started to laugh.  It was a deadly, diabolical, and devilish laugh.  The serpent seemed no longer aware of the presence of the humans.  Their usefulness to his evil conspiracy had expired.  At least so he thought, or at least hoped.
Turning to be commended by her suitor, whom she heard laughing – thinking this was a victory moment for all present, Eve was shocked by the expression the serpent now wore.  And instantly it clicked, she had been duped.  And as with every post sin episode everything started to become clear.  They both noticed for the first time that they were actually naked.  They also now began to feel guilt.  And whereas they would eagerly anticipate the visit of their Heavenly Father, now they dreaded His appearing.  They hurriedly sowed fig leaves to cover themselves.  It was a vain attempt to cover their guilt really.
So God came, as he normally did, but the couple now ran away to escape His presence.  God spoke to them and made for them proper clothing of animal’s skin.  The first animal had died, shadowing the eventual death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth (Rev. 14: 8), whom God promised would come to earth to redeem the human species.  He spoke to the serpent as well.  He cursed it and gave it a promise that its head would be crushed by Jesus Christ. Gen. 3:15.  
The promise of God came not in response to mankind’s demonstrated faithfulness, but in response to its failure.  Salvation is an initiative of God, not humans; God acts humans react.
How often have you reenacted the horror of Eden in your own experience?  Do you sometimes feel like there’s no hope for you?  Know this, God loves us anyway, and His only desire is to save you.  Jesus while on earth said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  Matt. 9:13.  He came to Adam and Eve, He’s here for you right now.