“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.”
My faithful Father and God of truth, how I think upon the bait offered to Adam and Eve. It was a lie sugarcoated with a promise. Maybe in the instant they bit into the fruit and hit the hook they knew. Like a fish caught on a line moments from death, I wonder how they fought the inevitable feeling. They had been deceived. They had been promised life and glory. And now they knew that the unavoidable consequence would befall them. Shame and death.
Why do I think that the consequences of biting into lies today are any different? Death, while ultimately physical, comes in many forms: the death of a friendship or a marriage; the death of integrity; the death of trust; the death of dreams. But the death that Adam and Eve experienced most immediately and acutely was not physical death. It was spiritual. No longer did they walk with you in freedom in the cool of the day. Now, with a sense of their moral corruption, they ran and hid from you in fear because of their guilt. That is the death that I know so well in my own life.
But as an overflow of your steadfast love and as a fulfillment of your eternal purposes of grace, you made a promise to Adam and Eve. It is a promise for all of your people—for each one who has, like them, bought the lie and taken the bite. In speaking to the serpent, you promised that there would be a descendent of the woman who would crush him and undo the curse. And your word tells us that Jesus is that descendant.
Lord Jesus, you fulfilled the original covenant that my first ancestors broke. They were tempted in the lush garden and failed. You were tested in the barren wilderness, and were found faithful. You obeyed the Father in every detail, from external actions to internal desires and motivations. Though the enemy lied and used the bait of easy glory apart from the humiliation of the cross, you believed the word of the Father,
saying that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
There are times when I have thought, “If only I were in the garden that day, I would not have taken the bait. I would have been faithful.” But you know, Father, as do I in my more sane moments, that I would have bought the lie, too. My own heart craves what the serpent offered to Adam and Eve—they wanted the glory of God for themselves. In fact, Father, isn’t that what corrupted Satan? Didn’t he grow jealous and desire to be worshipped as you are worshipped?
And isn’t that what happens in my own heart when I live according to my flesh rather than by your Spirit? How loathsome that sin is, that act of ultimate treason. Longing for the praise and worship of men—the praise that only you deserve and should receive. How I pray today that I would be given the grace to crucify my flesh anew through repentance so that I may have a fresh love for the Savior, and a consuming passion to see him exalted.
May I find my joy today in your glory—the glory revealed in the truth of the gospel, which tells me that though Satan has deceived, Jesus has saved. Yes, in Jesus there is truth (I deserve condemnation) and grace (Jesus was condemned for me). In light of that amazing mercy and by the power of your indwelling Holy Spirit, enable me to reject the lies of the evil one, and to live by the truth and grace of God. Father, for your glory, it is to that end that I pray