Genesis 3:1 | Yes He Said That

We all think we are smart until that moment we are hustled and tricked into doing something stupid. Anyone ever send money to some Nigerian prince? Anyone ever pay too much for a junk car? To my shame I was once tricked into giving up enough information to a spam caller that they were able to call the mobile company and change my service over to someone in Cuba locking me out of my own phone. I just signed up with a new carrier and I got a call from someone that sounded like they were from India asking to do a survey of my experience. I answered two questions and then they asked for the last 4 of my SSN for verification. That was all they needed (name and last 4 of my SSN to then turn around and call the phone company and get my service changed). I am smart! Ha! But I did not see that coming.

This kind of social manipulation has been going on since the beginning of time. We all know the story. Satan tempted Eve to eat from the fruit in the garden. We shake our head. How could she? What was she thinking? I would never make that mistake! Oh but dear reader you make that same mistake every day. In fact, you and I have fallen for the exact same social manipulation used on Eve. Don’t believe me? Then let us look at how Satan manipulated her and then ask ourselves the question. Have we been manipulated this same way?

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 ESV

There are two things I want to look at in this verse that we need to be aware of. First is the acknowledgement that Satan is not stupid and he knows what he is doing. The Second is the genius of his attack that we should always be aware of even in modern culture.

The Serpent “was more crafty” עָרוּם (ārûm) means subtle, sly, sensible, shrewd. Sensible jumps out at me because I think of myself as a sensible person. Satan’s approach to Eve was sensible and subtle. Think about that for a moment. The caricature of Satan is a fire ensconced demon demanding evil actions or inflicting pain on people. No dear reader Satan is subtle and sensible. He approaches us in much more wisdom and understanding than the caricature. In fact עָרוּם (ārûm) is translated “prudent” in proverbs. So think of “more crafty” Satan when reading these verses from Proverbs.

The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly. Proverbs 12:23 ESV

The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. Proverbs 14:15 ESV

The serpent when he rolled up on Eve knew exactly what he was doing and he has planned his approach carefully. He would not force Eve to do anything. He was not going to make demands. He was not going to trick her into eating the wrong fruit on accident. No his approach would be subtle and sensible and Eve would never see it coming. In fact we the ever educated and smart modern peoples that we are still to this day fall for the exact same approach from Satan. That approach is in the second part of Genesis 3:1 and it is as sensible as it is subtle.

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 ESV

“Did God really say”? What a question it is so sly and shrewd. Did God really say? That question is asked every day even now thousands of years later as we jump into sin. Did God really say sex outside of marriage is wrong? Did God really say that lies are wrong? Did God really say … insert whatever is on your heart right now? Oh do you see how crafty the serpent was and is?

16 And the Lord God [said to] the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16 ESV

Yes Eve, God said you should not eat from that Tree! Satan knows it and Eve knows it but what happened with the serpent’s question “Did God really say that”? Satan created an opening for Eve to question what God had spoken. What did God mean by don’t do this?

The same is true for modern man. People today are confronted by a world “Did God really….”. It is subtle, it is sensible, and it is shrewd. Now the rationalization process can start. God wants me to be happy. God is a God of love he would never forbid me to partake in this.

Dear reader ask yourself where you have listened to the question “Did God really say”. The question we should be asking is “What did God really say” and then desire to follow him with all your heart. I have been tricked. I have fallen for the scams. But God in his grace and love has provided a way to correct my mistake and the damaged I caused by joining right along with Eve in believing the lies.

27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

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