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Sunday, August 3, 2014

War In Your Heart # 19

Defeat Through the First Man in Eden (continued)

Black Week - In Eden (continued)

The decision to be made was clear-cut. There was not the slightest ambiguity about it. It was focused on one thing and one thing only - obedience to the will of God declared through the Word of God. It involved but one step - a step out of the circle of God's will. But one thing then was necessary on Eve's part, the will to disobey. The choice in favor of self against God.

Here the deceiver reaches the height of deception. He had put an iron curtain around his rebel kingdom. So Eve little dreamed that to step out of the will of God was to step into the will of satan: to be released from the sovereignty of God was to be relinquished to the sovereignty of satan: to cease to be a subject in the kingdom of God was to become not only a subject in satan's kingdom, but his abject bondslave; that instead of doing her own will and having her own way, she would, from the moment she willed to disobey, be transferring her allegiance from God to satan; henceforth to do his will and work instead of God's.

The crisis has been reached. The will must act. The fruit of the forbidden tree must be eaten. So the tempter focuses everything upon the accomplishment of the one thing. Eve must decide for or against God. The beguiler must use all his satanic wisdom, his most clever wiles; he must make a concentrated assault upon every part of her being and so batter down every restraint of God. He must make a gradual approach but reach a decisive climax.

Genesis 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

"When the woman "saw". Perhaps the tempter cunningly remarked about the beauty of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," so as to focus her eyes upon it and fasten her attention upon its pleasantness (Genesis 2:9) For let us remember that God made that tree and He had pronounced everything that He made "very good." So there was nothing inherently wrong in that tree any more than in any of the other trees, of which they might freely eat. The whole point was that God had commanded them NOT to eat of it. To eat of it would be sin; the sin of disobedience, which is altogether outlawed in God's universe, where He rules as a beneficent but absolute Sovereign on His throne. The measure of the sin of disobedience could be judged by the penalty to be meted out. It was punishable by death. Knowing the command, with its accompanying warning, Eve should not even have looked on that tree.

But she examined the fruit. "She saw that the tree was good for food." It appealed to her physical sense. It whetted her appetite. The desire to taste it came. "The lust of the flesh" was the lowest round in the temptation "that it was pleasant to the eyes." The look became fixed upon the forbidden fruit; it became a gaze; the more she looked, the more pleasant it became. How unreasonable it seemed to deny one anything that not only looked harmless, but positively beneficial!

"The lust of the eyes" took her one step nearer to disobedience. "A tree to be desired to make one wise." What a legitimate ambition, within the will of God, for it would only tend to make one know God better and to enable one to do His will in all things more effectually. But the ambition to be made wise, outside of God's will, could only stem from pride, for it would be an outreaching for something beyond that which God meant one to have. The desire to be wise for any other purpose than for the glory of God would be sin. That is "the pride of life." satan was in the Garden of Eden to gain subjects for his kingdom a world system based upon the principles of "the lust of the flesh," "the lust of the eyes," and "the pride of life" (1 John 2:16).

"She took of the fruit and did eat." "Took" - decision; "did eat" - action. The will to disobey was quickly followed by the act of disobedience. The personal sin of one woman brought the collective suffering and sorrow of all women (Genesis 3:16). Trace the result of this one sin through Scripture and then on out through the universal history of womanhood, especially in lands where Christ is not known, and meditate upon what you find. But Eve's sin did not stop even there.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 20)

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