Genesis 3:1-7 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
In chapter 3 of Genesis we see Satan show up for the first time. He shows up to tempt Adam and Eve to sin; the first sin that has led to all of mankind sinning since then (Romans 5:12). Satan’s tactic that led to the first sin is actually quite crafty, yet simple…he questioned what God said. Satan asked Eve the question “did God really say…”. That simple phrase brought confusion and doubt into the very clear words of God that were spoken in chapter 2 verse 17 of Genesis. When Satan caused confusion and doubt to enter the minds of Adam and Eve, they began to question the words of God, and that led to sin entering the world.
All these years later, Satan is still using the same tactic he did back in the garden. He still tries to cause confusion and doubt to enter our minds concerning the very words of God; he gets us to ask the question “did God really say…”, making us question what God says and what it really means. And even though we know that is Satan’s tactic because we can see it in scripture, too often we still fall for it.
I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with both students and adults who say something like “I know the Bible says this, but is that what God really meant…?” or “Does God really say we can’t or should…” or “Yea God says that, but is it relevant for today…”. They are just different ways of the original “did God really say…”. All those statements and thoughts convey the same thing…confusion and doubt concerning what God says.
Sure, there will be times when we need to ask what God really said or really meant when it comes to understanding scripture, because sometimes we haven’t fully understood God’s word. The purpose at those times is not to doubt God’s message, but rather to diver deeper in our understanding of it for the purpose of better obeying and living for God. However, when we ask if God really said or really meant what scripture says because we’ve allowed confusion and doubt into our minds, or we want to find a way to not obey what God says, that is Satan’s tactic to get us to not obey and live for God.
1 John 5:3 – This is love for God: to obey his commands.
If we claim to love God, we must obey what he says. Satan will try to cause confusion and doubt to keep us from obeying what God says, getting us to make what God says fit what we want. We as Christians need to realize Satan’s tactic and guard ourselves against it. We need to stick to both reading and obey God’s word without questioning what God tells us. We must be very careful that we don’t allow ourselves to question God’s word. We won’t always like everything God tells us, but we can’t change it or decide not to obey it, because our love for God is directly connected to our obedience of his word.