Mmmmm…candy apples. Shiny red fruit with the explosion of delicious juice right after the crunch. Its luring red toffee gently reflects the light that hits it, seductively enticing the eater to bite into it. Although it looks good and the apple beneath is healthy, the candy exterior has the potential to rot our teeth.
As parents, we often have to guide our children away from what may look good, due to the dangers that we know lurk behind it. It’s hard for the child to understand at the time, but the 180 brake horsepowered Ferrari-red sports car, driven by a friend with a newly acquired licence, may not be the safest thing for your child to ride in, even though its shiny exterior and revved up engine speaks otherwise. We want what is good for our children, even if it’s not what’s popular at the time.
For Eve in the garden of Eden, whether it was apples or something else, I imagine the fruit she ate would have been full of exquisite flavour beyond our imagination.
It wasn’t that Eve was lacking fruit to eat—God had provided her and Adam with a garden full of delicious fruit and exotic plants. He had given them many good things and Adam and Eve were met by God in the garden daily because he loved spending time with them.
But in his loving fatherly way, God had specifically told them not to eat from one particular tree, the only tree in the garden set aside not to be touched. It was not because he was keeping something good from them. It was because he was protecting them from separation from God and from death.
‘And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 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 chapter 2 verses 16-17)
Enter—the snake, the craftiest of all the wild animals (Genesis chapter 3).
Firstly, the snake publicly questions what God had told Adam and Eve: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Then he put doubts in their mind of what God actually meant: “You will not certainly die.”
He then twists God’s words into what Adam and Eve needed to hear to make their decision, leaving Eve feeling justified to do the exact thing God told her not to do: “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Enter—sin. Enter—death. God’s warning was there. The last thing he wanted, was to expel Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. And from this first sin, the battle began—to annihilate sin once and for all, through the blood of Jesus, in order to bring his children back to him.
Up to his old tricks
Still, in this day and age, we see the devil up to his old tricks. Whether it be in the form of academic, societal or scientific reasoning that steers people away from the truth of God; even subtle teachings creeping into the church such as liberal Christianity, Universalism and false teaching; or areas in things which entertain us such as television, movies, music, and other arts—the forbidden fruit shines brightly everywhere we look. It sounds good, it looks good, everyone says it’s good—but is it good? Or is it an alluring distraction from the truth that will save us?
Instead of listening to the truth, the devil entices people with what they want to hear and that which they fail to resist. 2 Timothy chapter 4 verse 3 says: ‘for the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’
And again in Isaiah chapter 30 verses 10-11: ‘They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”’
The devil is out to steal and destroy the good things that the Father has in store for those who believe in him, and he does it, once again, by deceit. 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8 tells us to: ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’
If he can get us off track, deceiving us into believing there is more than one way to be saved, or distracting us away from the truth, then he gets his foot in the door, that drags us along a road to destruction.
Be alert and overcome the world
However, God has made it easy for us, at great sacrifice to himself. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to be our Saviour from sin and all the deceptions of satan. In Romans chapter 1 verse 20, we are told that God has made His existence clear to us from the beginning, so we are without excuse for making ungodly choices.
Our Father, who longs to ‘give good gifts to those who ask him’ (Matthew chapter 7 verse 11) wants us to be alert because he loves us so much. Just as we as parents want to save our children from paths that may cause them harm, God also is fiercely protective of his children. His way is not complicated and it is not burdensome—but it will save us and bring us back to him.
So is his protectiveness mean? No, it is out of pure love. How then, do we show our love for God? We keep his commands, and love one another and it is from love that God wants not even one of his children to be lost.
‘In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.’ (1 John chapter 5 verses 3-5)
Rebecca and her husband, have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca writes for various publications including print, online and commercial. She has recently published her first book titled ‘First to Forty’ which is available on Amazon and Kindle. For more information: http://www.rebeccamoore.life
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