By Lauren V. Macaraeg & AQUA Grace: Joanie Yu, Jhem El Mundo, GL Udarbe, Cherry De Guzman, Adi Pestano
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
There are countless love stories where the kontrabida* tries to separate the leading man and the leading lady through tricks of deception. The same is true for the greatest love story of all – the love story between God and man.
God always loves us. That is the truth. But we don’t always believe, realize, feel or know this truth.
The enemy doesn’t want us to know the truth. That’s why he tries so hard to deceive us that God doesn’t love us. He desperately wants to separate us from God.
The first lie of the enemy to mankind was the serpent’s lie to Eve, which was designed to make her ultimately doubt God’s love (Gen. 3:1-7). The serpent was called crafty because he didn’t go out and tell Eve straight to her face that God didn’t love her. The enemy gradually built a twisted, complicated lie to confuse Eve and make her vulnerable to believing a falsehood.
To start with, the enemy tried to make Eve doubt God’s word. This was what God said to Adam:
“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.” (Gen. 2:16)
What God said was clear and straightforward. But the serpent twisted God’s word and presented his own version of it to Eve:
“He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1)
Logically, there was no basis for the serpent’s words which contradicted God’s word. But simply by planting a seed of doubt in God’s word, the enemy succeeded in affecting Eve almost immediately, as we can see from what she told 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.’” (Gen. 3:3)
Eve did correct the serpent’s words… but she herself added something to God’s word that wasn’t originally there. She said that God told them they would die if they touched the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (you can almost hear her sniff and sigh, “I know, right? Poor me!”). God never said that!
By trying to make Eve doubt God’s word, the enemy tried to make her doubt God’s character. By insinuating that God didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from any tree in the garden, he was attempting to make her doubt God’s generosity. The truth was that God had abundantly provided for Adam and Eve with a wide variety of fruits for them to enjoy – it was better than an eat-all-you-can buffet! The lie the enemy wanted Eve to believe was that God was a stingy killjoy who deprived them of their needs and wants.
By trying to make Eve doubt God’s character, the enemy tried to make her doubt God’s love. After twisting God’s word, the serpent then told a direct lie by saying that Eve will not die if she eats the fruit (Gen. 3:4-5). In doing so, the enemy wanted Eve to think that God was lying to her and withholding something good from her. In short, he wanted Eve to think that God doesn’t love her.
Sadly, Eve fell for the enemy’s deception. Because she doubted God’s word, character and love and believed in the serpent’s word instead, she acted as if the enemy’s word was the truth. She ate the forbidden fruit and gave some to her husband. In short, she sinned against God.
This is a perfect illustration of James 1:15: “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” Eve’s desire for the fruit and for knowledge gave birth to sin in her heart, such as doubt, pride and envy. Doubt in God’s love, pride in craving knowledge that was not meant for her, envy of the power of knowledge that God had. The sin in her heart led her to perform an act of sin, which Adam participated in. Their sin led to death, just as God said it would, even if the enemy said it wouldn’t. Eve and Adam experienced physical death. And even worse, they experienced spiritual death – separation from the LORD God.
Thankfully, the separation of God and man because of sin is not the final act in the greatest love story in history!
*kontrabida – Filipino word for “villain”
REFLECT & RECOLLECT (R&R)
1. Are there lies about God’s love that you believe in or used to believe in?
2. How has your life been affected by lies about God’s love that you believe in or used to believe in? What specific areas of your life are or were especially affected?