The serpent told Eve exactly what her itching ears wanted to hear.
That is the first impression I have after this fresh reading of the story of creation and the fall in the garden.
Eve could have had any of the fruit she wanted to eat in that lush paradise. But instead of focusing on what she could eat….her mind fixated on what she could not eat. Anybody on a low carb diet faced with the prospect of a warm Krispy Kreme donut can identify with Eve’s feelings! But that desire is not limited to food, is it? What about those boots? Or that cute new Mustang? Or, in the case of my friend Leslie, the “other man” who was not her husband is what rose up and took the form of temptation in her mind. So before we go bashing Eve for her choices, let’s remember we all face similar tempations…and, since we are not perfect, we often listen to that whispery voice of discontent.
I know Eve was very familiar with that discontented voice because of how she responded to the serpent’s first question.
“He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Look here at what God said, back in Chapter 2, regarding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Eve ADDED to God’s rules when she responded:
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 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 must not touch it? That is not what God said back in Chapter 2. But isn’t it typical of us to add dramatics to situations when we are discontented? (I am the mother of an eleven year old daughter. I am intimately familiar with dramatics!)
(Cue the violin)
I am stuck in a lease for a car that I should never have gotten. My husband didn’t like it but let me get it because he loves me and was probably tired of all my…drama. You can probably guess from my word choices that this lease is not all it is cracked up to be…and I am a wee bit discontented…again. Every time I get in that car and drive, instead of being grateful for the vehicle, my mind zeros in on all that is wrong with it. I find myself looking at sales for other brands. I complain about it and make fun of it all the time. But you know what? I’m no different than Eve. God has allowed me the use of this car, and I need to just stop the dramatics about those things that are wrong and instead focus on all those things that are right. I push the accelerator, and it moves. The brakes work. The seat belts secure us just fine. So what if it annoys me with an incessant seat-belt-reminder-DING when I put something heavy in the passenger front seat? I can make myself remember to put heavy things in the back seat, or else buckle the seat belt around the stuff before I get going. It really is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.
From Eve I have learned that the car in the other lot is my apple. I pray I can learn from Eve’s mistake and make my mind focus on my blessings….rather than on whatever it is that causes discontent.
So, what’s your “apple” today?