I was reading the Creation story last week, and was again struck by the subtle, seductive phrase that nudged Eve toward the worst decision, like ever.

Did God really say?

This phrase, like the first pebbles breaking loose before an avalanche, precluded the unraveling of the human race.

Did God Say

A Choice

Of course Satan got it all wrong. He played the skeptic quoting half-truths. But he did succeed in planting a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind that rapidly put down roots and bore fruit. There in the middle of the garden, surrounded by beauty, light, purpose, and community, she doubted that it was enough. She doubted God’s intentions toward her. Sound familiar yet? She wondered, in the words of the insurance commercial, “I wonder what else I don’t know.”

She doubted God, while in the midst of His goodness. Whenever I imagine this scene unfolding, my heart is so grieved. Gut-level grief. Because I see myself in that script. I’ve uttered the same words in my heart. And I realize that even in the midst of the perfection of our first home (The Garden of Eden), we as humans chose not to be satisfied.

The Root

Pride and doubt seems to be at the root of a lot of sin. Pride that we deserve better, and doubt that God is capable or willing to give us our definition of “better.” Satan thought he deserved more prestige than he was getting. Eve thought God was holding out on her. And we make millions of the same decisions every day.

We think we deserve a certain level of love and attention, so we sleep around. Or we think we’re not worth anything and still sleep around. We doubt God can provide, so we scrimp, cheat, or steal. We think we deserve recognition, so we trample others on our way to what we think is the top. We think we have something to prove, so we act in violence. In big and small ways, we try to elevate ourselves and provide for ourselves. We doubt what God says.

Slam on the Brakes

If you hear the poisonous phrase of “Did God really say?” slam on the brakes. Take a good look at your surroundings. Are you where you need to be? Are you filling yourself with the word of God? Are you surrounding yourself with wise counsel? Are you in regular fellowship of other believers?

Or do you find yourself wandering alone toward the forbidden tree, whatever that may be in your life? Stop, turn around, go back to where it’s safe. Answer the enemy with what God does actually say, like Jesus did. The enemy can’t stand prolonged exposure to the truth, to the light.

So take a deep breath, and clear out your ears. God acts, instructs, and protects all for our sake, all for our benefit.

Will you listen to Him?

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