Praise the Lord Beloved.
You know we had a really good start. Life began in a perfect paradise. The climate was never too warm and never too cold. We had no aches or pains, heartache or worries. We lived in perfect peace and harmony in the midst of a perfect garden. And we had power over everything except the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” which God had forbidden us to eat (Genesis 2:17).
we were doing wonderfully well. That was until the devil slithered into our world and asked the first recorded question in Scripture. It was cleverly designed to cause us to doubt God, His word, and His heart: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (3:1).
That simple seed of doubt took root in our hearts. From that time on, we have wondered,
“Did God Really Say?”
Satan entered the scene of life just three chapters into the Bible, and the last time we encounter him is three chapters from the end. And the damage he has caused is seen on every page in between. This cunning creature was smart enough to know that doubt is deadly. He did not try to force us to eat the forbidden fruit. He simply tossed a seed of doubt our way, and we took it from there: “Did God Really Say?”
Let me tell you friends,
this cosmic conflict has not changed through the millennia. Satan is still very much at work causing us to doubt what God has said to us in His word. Satan’s tactic is a clever three-pronged strategy designed to lead us, just as he led Adam and Eve to personal defeat and separation from God.
Satan’s Treachery Brings a Selfish Objectives
The plan was simple.
The devil made a brief appearance in the garden, and all he did was ask a question:
“Do you think God really meant that? Come on. Do you think you would really die if you took a bite of that single little fruit? Be realistic. God knows that if you did, you would become a god yourself. You would know both good and evil.” And that is the last we hear from our enemy.
He’s gone. That is all he did. And that’s all he had to do (Genesis 3:1–5).
our minds are like a hotel. The manager can’t keep people from coming into the lobby, but he can keep them from getting a room. It’s the same with our thoughts. It’s not a sin when an impure thought goes through our minds. The sin comes when we give it a room and let it settle down there.
And Satan’s deceit brings to the surface our sinful, selfish desires as well as a lack of trust.
It was true then, and it’s true now: once doubt gets a room in your mind, Satan’s battle is half won.
A Selfish Desire Brings a Sinful Decision
Now once doubt had its foot in the door, we will see 4 things happened in rapid succession. First, Eve “saw that the tree was good for food . . . pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise” (Genesis 3:6).
Second she took it . . . and ate, thirdly she gave her husband a piece, and he ate
and fourth they ran in an attempt to hide from God.
Did things ever change!!! Adam and Eve were booted out of the garden,
Once the seed of doubt took root, a downward digression followed.
First, Eve saw: she “saw that the tree was good” (v. 6). Then she coveted: it was “desirable to make one wise” (v. 6). Then she took: “She took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband . . . and he ate” (v. 6).
And finally, they hid: “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God” (v. 8).
now the pattern has been revealed.
Now there may be someone out there asking:
“Dr. Houston what pattern has been revealed?”
WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!!!
Let’s look at King David.
King David walked that same path.
He saw a woman on a rooftop bathing. He coveted and sent men to find out more about her.
He took: he brought her to his palace and slept with her. He hid: to the hideous extent of having her husband killed in battle in order to cover his actions. All of us walk this path when we allow doubt to have a room in our minds. We are no different from Eve or David. If we do not break the cycle, we also will see, covet, take, and then spend our lives looking over our shoulder to see if we will be found out. These things all occur because a selfish desire that has been allowed to take root in our hearts that brings sinful decisions.
A Sinful Decision Brings a Sure Defeat
Adam and Eve “knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7).
Well it doesn’t take a scholar to recognize this!!! But before that point, God had been the unequivocal center of their devotion and attention, they had not realized it. Now, with sin in the picture, they were focused on themselves!!! So they covered themselves with fig leaves. God caught up with them, and the blame game began.
Adam blamed his sinful disobedience on Eve:
“She gave me the fruit to eat.” In fact, Adam even shared some of the blame with God: “You gave her to me.” Eve said, “The devil made me do it!!!” Clearly, human nature hasn’t changed much at all.
Someone besides ourselve is almost always to blame for all of our wrong decisions and all of our defeats.
But God, in His grace, intervened. Fig leaves would never be sufficient. So God took an innocent animal
(a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God), killed it, and covered Adam and Eve with its skins. When that little animal took its last breath, it became the first to experience the deadly toll that sin takes.
This is rather strange, but the whole scenario began with a simple question:
“Did God Really Say?”
Friends, four word question was designed to cause us to doubt God and His word, and that plan succeeded.
Beloved, doubt is deadly.
And do you know what’s so disconcerting about this?
God placed man in a perfect paradise. Satan entered briefly and sowed a seed of doubt and we fell. God drove our first parents out of paradise, and you and I have been trying to get back home, back into God’s presence ever since.
the Bible is the record of this heartbreaking journey in search of what we once enjoyed.
The account begins in Genesis with paradise lost, and it ends in Revelation with paradise regained!!!
Right now we are exiles from Eden. But God has made a way through Jesus Christ who, incidentally, is still asking, “Why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
“Did God Really Say..?”
The answer is an unquestionable decisive “Yes, He certainly has.”
And what He says in His word is true. We can trust Him.
if you never remember anything else in life remember this:
Doubt is deadly when the Deceiver comes to you in various ways to get you to doubt
what God has said in His word.
God bless you.
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