Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 NIV
I really want to dive into the book of Joshua. It’s the book that talks about all of the amazing battles the Lord led the Israelites in when they were finally allowed to cross over and take possession of the Promised Land. It is filled with miracles and “sun stand still” moments. If you don’t know what I am referring to regarding a “sun stand moment”, you will have to keep reading in days ahead :).
As much as I want to move forward into the great stories of victory, the Lord keeps telling me I have to go back. Way back. All the way back to the beginning.
Most people, even those who do not believe in Jesus, know something about the account of Adam and Eve. They know they were naked (or wearing fig leaves), placed in a paradise garden, and somewhere along the lines Eve was tricked by a snake into eating the forbidden fruit and that was the end of paradise as we know it. The story is familiar to almost everyone. That familiarity is part of the church’s problem today.
We tend to view these epic stories as just that- great stories. We lose sight of the fact that these “stories” are factual accounts of the history of man, and his interactions with his Creator. They are accounts of God’s goodness, love, power, and wrath against injustice. They are recorded for us to know our history, our God, our world, and our place in it. They are written accounts of encouragement, promise, and warning.
Everyone likes a good word of encouragement. That’s my main purpose in writing- to encourage you in your faith. We also love to hear about God’s promises for us. What we don’t tend to spend a lot of time on are His warnings. The thing is, as the George Santayana quote goes, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” He may not have believed in God, but he was speaking truth!
The more I read the Old Testament, the more I see that there truly is nothing new under the sun. The enemy of our faith uses the exact same tactic today as he did with Eve. He causes us to doubt what we know to be true with his “Did God really say….” questions.
Did God really say ALL of your sins are forgiven?
Did God really say He will provide all of your needs?
Did God really say He has good plans for you?
The answer is YES! When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins,- 2 Corinthians, 2:13
YES! And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
And YES! For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11
In fact, all of His promises are YES! and Amen!
The problem is, as soon as our circumstances don’t line up with God’s promises, we start to doubt what is truth and what is just an epic story. We start to listen to the snake as he asks “Did God really say…”. I am reading account after account in the Old Testament of great men and women that walked with God yet, time and time again fell into the same trap. They listened to the snake. They let the enemy fill them with doubt. This caused them to take matters into their own hands, which never ended well.
Looking back over the years I see the many times I have listened to the snake. I let him fill my head with lies about who I am and who God is. I listened to him when I should’ve just told him to “GET OUT OF MY GARDEN!”
Thank you Jesus that it is never too late! There is still time to go back and learn our history so we will no longer be doomed to repeat it. In God’s goodness He also promises He will restore all that has been lost over the years during our times of doubt and listening to the snake.
So before we move forward in possessing the land, we are going to go back to learn from those that have gone before us so we don’t have to repeat those same mistakes any longer. I encourage you to go back. Way back. All the way back to the beginning. This time as you read the epic stories, ask the Lord to show you how it relates to your life today. You will be shocked at the similarities!
Heavenly Father, I thank you for your goodness, kindness, and mercy. Thank you for your written Word that gives us account of who you are, and who we are in you. Increase our hunger for your Word. Increase our understanding of your Word. Holy Spirit help us to see you, to see truth, and to see ourselves in the written Word. Help us to see your Word through the lens of your fierce and relentless love for us. Show us the areas of our lives that we have been listening to the lies of the snake so we can move forward in the truth of your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Silencing the snake,