I was reflecting on Genesis 3 this morning and the three major lies that Satan told Eve to deceive her into eating the fruit.
Here’s the passage in Genesis 3… Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
There are three lies that Satan tells Eve. The first lie is… your eyes will be opened. The word opened suggests that there was something that God was keeping from Eve… that God wasn’t transparent with Eve. It was an assault on God’s character.
We see that same assault on God’s character today. If God was a God of love how could he send a massive storm to destroy Haiti or New Orleans? If God was a God of love, why would He condemn homosexuals to an eternity in hell? There is a propensity in man to doubt God’s character because of his fallen nature. In reality, Eve had the most transparent, open relationship with God that a human could possibly have. When Eve submitted to the devil’s lies, instead of having her eyes opened… her eyes were blinded by the deceitfulness of sin that entered into the world.
The second lie is you will be like God. Consider this. Man was made in the image of God. God made man so much like God that the only way man could be more like God would have been to become God. It was an assault on God’s image in man. This lie is profound in that it causes man to desire something illegitimately that he already had… he was already like God.
The image of God in man continues to be assaulted today. The assault comes through pornography, which is a sexualized view of man. The assault comes through the LGBT propaganda and pop stars that say Baby you were born this way. The assault comes through human trafficking that dehumanizes people. The assault comes through corporations that conform man into the image of a corporate identity. The assault comes through television, music, social networks, media, internet… you name it. It’s a major frontal assault on the Image of God in man. When Eve submitted to the devil’s lies, instead of becoming like God… she entered the process of dehumanization that robs one of the Imago Dei that resides in them.
The third lie is you will know good from evil. That’s the definition of the conscience. It is the moral compass that helps us determine between good and evil. Then it hit me… God does not have a conscience. What? Is this heresy? No. Think about it. God is righteous. He exists in righteousness. Everything He does is right and just. He does not have a moral compass that governs Him. His very nature is right. His actions are righteous and thus His actions are just.
The concept of good and evil is do deeply ingrained in us as human beings that it is difficult to understand a perspective where good and evil does not exist. It is a human perspective to see God as the ultimate symbol of moral goodness. God is righteous. There is a difference.
For instance, if you see God as simply moral then His laws are open for moral debate. Morals change over time. What is immoral for one culture is acceptable in another. You can debate morality forever and never come to a point of agreement. This is particularly evident in the issue of Same Sex Marriage. God defined marriage between a man and a woman. It is not open for discussion, but people have made it a moral and ethical argument. How can two people who love each other not be allowed to marry? How cares that they are same sex gendered? Although I understand the logic, it doesn’t matter because God’s law is not ethical or moral – it is righteous. Therefore, God is right and there is no discussion.
In applying this to my earlier statement that God does not have a conscience… Because God is righteous, there are only two responses to God. Obey God and live. Rebel against God and die. Anything that leads to death, distress or judgment is what the Bible defines as evil. Evil is not the opposite of God. Evil is anything that leads to death, distress or judgment because it rebels against God. For man it’s a matter of conscious choice… obey God, which is good and live. Reject God, which is evil and die. For God it’s a matter of truth… God said the wages of sin is death, thus when you sin you will surely die. When Eve submitted to the devil’s lies, instead of knowing good and evil… she lost her consciousness of God and became enslaved to the consciousness of sin. Sin entered into the world and sin and judgment with it.
The Good News is that this is all reversed at the cross. The work that Jesus did reverses the curse and restores us to this open relationship with the Father, just as Adam enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. More to come…