November 02, 2019

Did God Really Say . . . ?

Genesis 3:1-7

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 . . . ?”

—  Genesis 3:1

The serpent asked a provocative question that led Adam and Eve into temptation: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Eve replied, “He said we could eat from all the trees except for the one in the center, and if we did, we would die!” Then the serpent contradicted God: “You will not die! Instead, you will be like God!”

That’s how “that ancient serpent [who is] called the devil, or Satan” led “the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). Eve ate some of the fruit, and she gave some to Adam, and he ate it. In one way Satan was right: after eating the fruit, they didn’t choke to death immediately. But their souls were fatally poisoned. And we are all caught in the same trap.

Can you relate to Adam and Eve? Satan still whispers seductively, “Did God really say [your temptation] is bad or wrong?” This warning still applies: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves lost, naked, and ashamed in our personal wilderness, vainly trying to escape God’s all-seeing gaze. Thankfully, his great love for us in Christ wins the day. God’s hope-filled question from Eden reaches us today: “Where are you?” When Satan whispers, listen not to him but the Father, look to the Savior, and trust the Spirit to overcome.

Sovereign God, when we are tempted, help us to hear you calling us to follow Jesus’ way. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!