Through the Bible: Genesis 1-3
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “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.” (Genesis 2:16-17 ESV)
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to 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.’”” Genesis 3:1-3 ESV
Lisa Terkeurst, in her book It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, shares some powerful insights from this passage.
First, she points out the contrasts between what God said and what Satan said God said. God’s first words to Adam regarding the trees in the Garden were “You are free to eat of every tree” (Gen 2:16). But when Satan misquotes God to Eve, the words are “You shall not from any tree” (3:1).
Second, Eve adds something God never said to what God actually said. Eve corrected Satan to a point, but she also said God commanded that they were not to even touch the fruit, or they would surely die.
And here is where Satan seizes the opportunity to undermine God’s authority. He tells Eve (rightly) that she will not surely die by touching the fruit. It’s a brilliant move. Once the devil gets her to doubt what she thinks God says, then it’s an easy step to get her to disobey what God actually said. Because, look closely at the progression: Eve thinks God said not to touch it, or she would die. She touches it. She doesn’t die. And the seed is planted: “What else might Go’s be wrong about?”
So you see here the absolute necessity of knowing God’s word, and the absolute danger of adding to it.
Satan reframes the freedom we have in almost everything to restriction from absolutely anything. And if we don’t know God’s Word well enough to correct Satan, we will fall to his temptation.
As you begin this journey of reading through the Bible in a year, realize that the stakes are high. Learning God’s Word and rightly dividing what it says from the things we’ve always heard and just assumed to be true is so essential.