Genesis 3:3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 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. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Here’s a note I wrote in my bible a few years ago related to this passage:
“What the serpent does here is to help Eve rationalize her sin. He plants in her mind some false ideas, nuancing the clear command of God. A very typical temptation.”
I was recently watching an episode from season 2 of “The Crown”, which is about Queen Elizabeth of England in the early years of her reign. It was an episode in which she learned the painful truth about her uncle’s behavior during WWII. He aligned himself with the Nazi regime and subverted the interests of his own country in the process. He brought great shame and grief to his own family and was subsequently exiled from Great Britain. When Elizabeth learns the gory details she struggles mightily with the Christian principle of forgiveness. She goes so far as to ask a minister if she can both be a good Christian and withhold forgiveness from her uncle. The minister answers…. no. The teaching of scripture is clear.
But she refuses to forgive nonetheless.
This is me in a nutshell, not necessarily related to forgiveness but in other areas. If there’s a boundary I don’t like, I’ll rationalize why it’s okay to violate it. It’s part of my human nature to rebel against God’s will and God’s ways. Hence, mine is often not an information problem (I don’t know what to do) but an obedience problem (I want to do what I want to do). Oh – and our passage reminds us there is one who is all too glad to encourage down the path of sin and death.
Lord brings us back to you when we fall for the deceitful designs of the “crafty” one. Amen.