Where the world comes to study the Bible

Genesis 3

Don’t Be Deceived!

...ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. - Genesis 3:5

One of Satan’s most effective tactics down through the ages has been deception. He is a master at making things appear what they are not. A mixture of truth and error seems to serve his purposes much better than total error.

Donald Grey Barnhouse illustrated this forcefully with the following story: “Duveen, the famous English art connoisseur, took his little daughter to the beach one day, but could not get her to go into the chilly water. After persuasion failed, he borrowed a teakettle, built a fire, and heated a little water until it steamed beautifully. With much flourish, he poured it into the ocean. Greatly impressed, his daughter went in without a murmur.” Barnhouse then made this application: Satan “dilutes an ocean of unbelief with a steaming teakettle of Christian ethics, and people go wading in, self-satisfied, but unaware that they are bathing in unbelief.”

The adversary is delighted when a person turns over a new leaf or engages in good works, just as long as he continues to reject the provision of God’s grace in salvation. Somehow the sinner completely ignores the fatal error or not trusting Christ because his life as been tempered with a teakettle of wholesome resolves.

Our Lord’s words are very clear: “...he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). Don’t be deceived by Satan’s clever ploy. You cannot dilute an ocean of cold unbelief with a little warm water of religiosity or good human endeavor. P.R.V.

The devil in his subtle way
Will chloroform your soul,
If you don’t quickly turn to Christ,
Whose blood can make you whole.

- Lyle

THOT: Satan will flood you with truth to float one lie.

Our Daily Bread, Sunday, June 29.

No Restrictions

Satan was planting in Eve’s mind the idea that there should be no restrictions in the perfect plan of a good God.

Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life, p. 26.

You Knew What I Was

Iron Eyes Cody is a native American actor who once did a TV spot for the Keep America Beautiful campaign. He was an Indian drifting alone in a canoe. As he saw how our waters are being polluted, a single tear rolled down his cheek, telling the whole story. This powerful public service commercial still shows up on TV screens after 17 years. In 1988 Cody repeated an old Indian legend in Guideposts magazine. Here it is:

Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees, bright with flowers. There he fasted. But on the third day, as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with dazzling snow. I will test myself against that mountain, he thought. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride.

Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke. “I am about to die,” said the snake. “It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.” “No,” said the youth. “I am forewarned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me.” “Not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you.” The youth resisted awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and leapt, biting him on the leg. “But you promised...” cried the youth.

“You knew what I was when you picked me up.” said the snake as it slithered away.”

Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, pp. 5-7

Humpty Dumpty

A favorite nursery rhyme is the familiar tale of an egg that takes an unfortunate tumble:

HUMPTY DUMPTY SAT ON A WALL
HUMPTY DUMPTY HAD A GREAT FALL.
ALL THE KING’S HORSES AND ALL THE KING’S MEN
COULDN’T PUT HUMPTY TOGETHER AGAIN.

According to those who know about such things, this piece of wisdom is a relic thousands of years old. Versions have appeared in eight European languages.

In its primitive stages, however, Humpty Dumpty was a riddle. It asked the question: what, when broken, can never be repaired, not even by strong or wise individuals? As any child knows, an egg. Regardless of how hard we try, a broken egg can never be put back together again. We simply have to learn to live with the mess.

There is a Humpty Dumpty story in the Bible. We call it the Fall.

Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit. They claim they posses the necessary wisdom to be like God. When the dust settles, Adam and Eve are not perched on a lofty plane. They have fallen. Regardless of how hard we try, things can never be put back together again.

Our contemporary fall is seen in the feeling that things just don’t work anymore. Our lives appear out of control. Changes come faster than our ability to cope. Broken eggs are an appropriate symbol. Wherever we step we hear the crunch of fragile shells beneath our feet.

Brent Philip Waters

Resources

  • Mythical, allegorical, historical views, Satan is No Myth, J. O. Sanders, Moody, 1975, pp. 38ff
  • The fundamental deception of Satan is the lie that obedience can never bring happiness. R.C. Sproul
  • Our Savior God, J. M. Boice, p. 44.
  • Tales of the Neverending, Mark Littleton, Moody, 1990, pp. 30ff
  • Biblical Sermons, H. W. Robinson, Baker, 1989, p.13