Verse of the Day Devotion: Genesis 3:13
“Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:13
So, one thing about Christmas we need to understand is why did Jesus come in the first place? What was the impetus that got Him to leave heaven and come to earth? The basic answer is that man listened to Satan rather than God. And the reason this happened was because Satan is a great deceiver. And because they fell for his lies, this sin was passed on to all people, hence the need for a Savior.
Let us start by looking at the initial deception. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” Genesis 3:1-3. Eve here is answering Satan’s question with the truth. He did limit which fruit they could eat. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17. Eve told Satan the truth. They were free to eat of any tree in the garden but one. And if they were to eat of that tree, they would die. They may not die immediately, but they would eventually die, for their unending life would ultimately end.
Now, in the next couple of verses, we see the incredible deception Satan told her. “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5. Here are the several frauds Satan pushed on Eve, and eventually Adam. First, he told them they would not die. The truth is, they may not die immediately, but their unending life will end at some point. And the second fraud was they would be as God, knowing good and evil. What he was saying was not that they would necessarily understand what was good or evil in itself, but what is good or evil for them, humans. The main deception is not that they would understand what was inherently good and evil, but they would be like God, deciding what is good or evil to them based on what is helpful or harmful. The theologian C. Westermann puts it this way. “In Hebrew good and evil always have the primary meanings of helpful and harmful … there is no intention of opposing actions because of their moral difference, but rather of bringing things together by virtue of their polarities according to which they are helpful or harmful to people.” By this, the serpent was saying that they could essentially decide what was good or evil based on what was helpful or harmful for them.
And they fell for this lie from Satan. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6. And because of this, God sent His Son into the world in order make a way for mankind to be saved.
The prophecy of Christ coming into the world is found in a later verse. “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15. First the seed of Eve, and ultimately the seed of Abraham, is Christ. “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, And to seeds, as referring to many, but rather to one, And to your seed, that is, Christ.” Galatians 3:16. Next, the seed of the serpent are those who follow after him. Jesus alludes to this by calling the Jewish leaders of His day children of Satan. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44. This is not specifically saying they are Satan’s seed referred to in Genesis 3, however, it makes sense in their context. So, based on this, Genesis 3:15 is saying that Jesus will come and defeat Satan and his works. “Little children make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8.
This was the only way that man could be redeemed for man carried on the sin that initially caused Adam and Eve to fall, and ultimately all of mankind. “The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3. And this is because Satan is spreading his lies and deception throughout the world. But God made a way for us to be reconciled with Him, and that is through Jesus. “But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13.
This was the reason Christ came here, to pay the penalty for our sins and to give us the means to be God’s children. Without Him coming here, we would be eternally lost and separated from God. But because He loved us beyond understanding, He sent His Son. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17. This is why He came, and why we celebrate Christmas, for by it came the means of salvation of mankind to all who believe.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.