“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the women, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1
Let’s take a walk in the Garden of Eden for a moment. God has given Adam and Eve a beautiful place to live, food to eat and fellowship with him.
Everything is as it should be.
In God’s very own words, “It was good.”
But then, the serpent slithers alongside Eve.
Can you hear it as he hisses, “Did God really ssssay…”?
All it took was those four little words to doom humanity for eternity, and at the heart of those four little words is doubt.
Oh, maybe Eve wasn’t doubting God. Maybe she was doubting Adam. After all, God didn’t tell Eve which trees to eat from, he told Adam (Gen. 2:16). Eve hadn’t even been created yet. So, maybe she started to doubt Adam’s word to her.
Maybe she thought of the game “Gossip” where the message gets all jumbled up and words get turned around. The message, “Don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” turns into “Don’t eat beets or go near that bo weavil.”
It could happen.
Regardless, in that split second, she doubted the messenger which then led her to doubt the message. But instead of asking Adam about it (who was standing next to her, I might add), she decided to have a conversation with a snake.
Epic fail! Seriously. It is the literally definition of epic fail.
My first reaction is to wonder:
Why is she’s talking to an animal?
Did the animals talk back then?
If not, didn’t it raise a red flag that it was talking?
Second, Adam is standing next to her. The very person that heard God say NOT to eat from that tree. Why in the heck didn’t he say, “Yeah, Serpent! That’s what God said, and by the way, in case you didn’t get the memo, you’re not supposed to be talking. Eve – let’s make like a tree and leave.”
But instead of shoving their fingers in their ears and running away screaming, “La la la…I’m not listening,” they both stand there and have a conversation with a snake. Not only did they have a conversation with the snake, but they decided to take his word over God’s.
And so begins the battle for our souls.
How does the serpent get Eve to sin?
How does he get her to doubt God’s very words?
He uses logic!
The serpent is described as “crafty” and the Hebrew word means “sensible, prudent.” Sensible means to show good sense or sound judgement, and prudence is exercising good judgment or common sense.
Do you see? Do you see how he uses common sense to make us doubt?
How many times has God said something and our mind rationalizes that it’s impossible?
How many times have we looked at a line clearly dawn in the sand of scripture and chalked it up to the culture “at the time” so we didn’t have to accept it?
How many times have we prayed for God to meet a need, and then when that need is met, we call it a coincidence?
Doubt is a detestable, ugly, nagging word. It’s the antonym of belief – the nemesis of Christians since the beginning of time. It’s a weapon that Satan wields far too often. A weapon that inflicts mental, emotional and spiritual pain, and inevitably separates us from God. Doubt, in my assessment is a sin, and at the very least a slippery slope that leads there.
Think about it this way.
How do you feel when someone doubts that what you say to them is truth?
How do you feel when someone you love doubts your intentions or motives toward them?
How do you feel when you tell someone you are going to do something and they don’t think you will come through?
It’s insulting, aggravating, and it probably hurts your feelings. I have to wonder if that is exactly how God feels when we doubt him!
So, how do you kill the slithering serpent of doubt?
You crush its head (Gen 3:15)! Better yet, grab the “sword of the spirit which is the word of God (Eph. 6:7).”
Arm yourself with scripture.
Get in the Word.
Sear it into your very soul.
And when you hear that familiar hiss, “Did God really sssay….” grab your sword and chop off it’s slimy head.