Genesis 3:4

Verse of the Day Devotion: Genesis 3:4

“The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!” – Genesis 3:4 

This verse is found in the verses that describe the fall of Adam and Eve.  The serpent in our focus verse is described as the craftiest of all the beast of the field.  The Hebrew word for crafty means cunning (usually in a bad sense).  It also has the idea of prudent and subtle.  He then says to Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1b.  There are several things that is intriguing with this.  First, it appears that this was part of a discussion they were having already, and it is questioning her to create doubt in Eve.  But more interesting is this creature had the ability to reason and to speak in a way Eve understood.

She then answers the creature by saying they can eat of any tree in the garden except from the one tree in the middle of the garden, for God has told us we will die if we do.  At this point she still believed what God told her.  Then the serpent counters what God told her.  “You surely will not die!” Genesis 3:4 However, it throws in another idea which, as we will see, caused her to doubt what they were told.  “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5. Aha, it has now told her that God was withholding something from her.  They would not die; in fact, they would actually become like God Himself if they did eat.

So, Eve began to mull this over in her mind.  According to the serpent, they would not die, for the fruit was good for food.  It was lovely and looked incredibly delicious and would allow them to gain in wisdom to the level of God.  These were the things she, and no doubt Adam also, desired.  So she ignored the warning God gave them regarding the fruit and ate it, also giving one to Adam so he could enjoy the same blessing the fruit would impart it on her.

Well, it did not turn out that well for them.  Yes, their understanding increased, but not as they hoped for.  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” Genesis 3:7. They understood they had done wrong and disobeyed God.  They felt the need to cover themselves with the leaves of the fig tree.  They now lost the peace they had with God.  Not only did they not want to see God, but they hid from Him hoping He would not know.

Satan does the same thing with us today.  We see many of the rules placed upon us by the Word of God as not really meaning what we had always understood.  Satan tempts us by saying, “God really did not mean these things were wrong.  Besides, they are enjoyable and will benefit you as well.” And because we see these things as pleasing to our flesh, we have to make a decision.  Do we obey God, or do we assume we do not truly understand and, like Eve, partake in the sin.  The world does this all the time.  However, many Christians are also tricked into partaking because they also fall prey to the ‘I know more than God’ syndrome.  We may not think specifically we do, but that is the result of pondering the words spoken by the serpent just as Eve did.  And I hate to say we all do this occasionally, with no exception for myself.

It is important that we not listen to the words of the enemy.  We must become so familiar with God’s Word that we do not fall for the serpent’s cunning ways.  We must understand what is acceptable and what is not and stand firm when tempted to go against what God has said.  The enemy tempts us with our self-indulgent sinful desires. We need to understand this and tell him, as Jesus did, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’  We must use scripture and our desire to please God to defeat the serpent just as Jesus did in His moment of temptation.  This must be our goal.  We may fail at times, but these times must become less frequent.  And when we do, we need to do as John said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. We must remember the words of Solomon when he said, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12. For just as Eve listened to the serpent and did what she chose which led to death, so will our choosing to do what we want that is contrary to God’s will.

Study God’s Word and know what it says and choose at all times to follow it.  It will help in your battle against the temptations of the enemy.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Genesis 3:13

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.