A MESSAGE FROM THE FIRST MOTHER
Gen. 3:1-7 "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 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. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."
Let us state from the very start that these words are true. It is not, as some socalled higher critics would have you believe, a creation myth or an allegorical story. This is an accurate historical account of man's very real first encounter and
experience with sin and it's consequences. If this is not the case, then we can completely disregard every other story and truth in the Old and New Testaments. It is significant that the writers of the gospels included Adam in the genealogy and lineage of Jesus Christ.
It is also clear that the Holy Spirit had Paul to rely on the
historical and theological accuracy of this account, when He inspired him to inform us of the long term consequences of our ancestors actions. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men,
for that all have sinned: . . . But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." (Ro. 5:12
We could discuss the impact of this encounter and expound upon the great doctrines of original sin and abounding grace, but let us instead simply examine the incident from the view point of the first mother, Eve. Have you ever heard the expression, "If these walls had ears and could speak to us of the things that have
happened within them."?
Many have speculated on what Moses and Elijah might have said to our Saviour on the Mt. of Transfiguration. No one knows, but they were
surely important words of encouragement from that other world. We know what the rich man would have had Lazarus say to his brothers back on planet earth. He would have warned him of the consequences and wages of sin. Have you every considered what some of those who
have gone on before us would say to our generation of they could come back and talk with us today?
Have you heard the story of the elephant and the rooster in a zoo? They were confined in the same enclosure. Due to the vast disparity in their size the elephant suggested they each make a set of rules for peaceful co-existence. They separated and came back together at the appointed time; each with a list of suggested rules to agree upon. The elephant read a long list of rules, beginning with a prohibition upon pre-dawn crowing. When it came the rooster's turn he said, "I have only one rule." "What's that," the elephant said. "There will be no stepping on each other!!" The rooster said. Obviously, that would be a deadly disaster.
dam and Eve just had one rule - but they broke it. Eve had just one command to keep, but she couldn't keep it and the result was a deadly disaster for her and all her descendants.
I believe it was Franklin who first said, "Experience is a dear
school, but fools will learn in no other." Someone else once said, "The only thing man learns from history is that he doesn't learn from history." Just a word to the wise should be sufficient, but often it is not. We certainly should profit by the mistakes of others. Let us speculate a moment, with this story as a basis, what the first woman, the mother of us all, would say if she could speak to us today. What would her message be?
Perhaps she would say, " DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE!" I am
sure Satan came to her with all the deceitful charm and charisma that such a beautiful and fascinating creature could exude. (See Eze. 28:13-17, Isa. 14:12-15, Rev. 12:7-10, Luke 10:18) Just a cursory correlation of these scriptures would logical lead us to the view of his history held by Bible-believing Christians. It would seem he used his dazzling beauty and considerable charm and charisma to first deceive the multiplied hosts of angels who fell from their first estate. He somehow conned them into joining him in his open rebellion against the most high God; even though it must
have been patently obvious that their ultimate fate was sealed from the start. That deceit doomed them to roam the darkness of this earth through the ages as hideous demons, engaged in a continuing futile spiritual battle. Fighting a war that will culminate in the utter defeat of their master and their eternal destruction in the lake of fire.
If Eve could speak to us, I am sure she would warn us that this deceiver, our adversary, is still alive and well on planet earth today. In fact, Paul warned that he even has the audacity, as god of this world, to infiltrate the ranks of his opposing army. "For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." *II Cor. 11:13-15)
Things are not always as they seem. Our sight is deceptive and we are prone to be deceived. Did you ever push a stick into a stream of clear water and see how it apparently bends at the surface? Desert mirages are common and many weary and thirsty travelers have pursued an optical illusion to a terrible and terminal conclusion.
Yes, it is possible today to be taken in by Satan's sly, dazzling appeal to our sensual and basic instincts. Things are not always as he makes them seem. He is a deft magician who is skilled in playing the old shell game of deceit. He says,"Look around you at the prosperity of the wicked. They are as gods. They have the
world as their happy little carousel. Come, join the happy, merry making crowd. Eat, drink and be merry. After all, you live but once, and the world owes you happiness anyway." He uses many things. Obsession with the acquisition of material things. You must have the best house. The best car. You must dine at the best restaurant, wearing the best designer clothes. You must take the best holiday in the best place. As the god of this world, he ultimately controls the media. He urges the Christian to heed the media and adopt the standards and priorities of the world around them.
Those who play his shell game with him soon find his hand is quicker than their eye. His promises never seem to produce the desired results; at least in the long term. They come wrapped in a gorgeous little package, all a glitter with gold and tinsel and tied with a beautiful bow. But when the package of his promises is opened at the end of the way, a pandora's box of sorrow and heartbreak will overwhelm the one who has been deceived. At the end of the game they find they have only a shell filled with empty promises and the bitter fruit of the wages of sin.
If Eve could speak to us today I am sure she would echo these words of John, "Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but
is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (I John 2:15-17)
If the first mother could give us a message today perhaps it would be, 'DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR." As we read this story we are sometimes tempted to say, "Poor Eve. Surely she could see how illogical Satan's so-called logic really was. After all, she was in the garden of God and fellowshipping with the Creator of this universe. With access to all the beauty and abundance of His creation, how could she be fooled by the words of this clever creature into thinking God was withholding some great blessing from her? How could his subtle words tempt her to break the only rule she had been given?"
But who are we to speak of this matter? The con men of this world depend upon such gullibility today. Man hears with his fleshly ears just what he wants to hear. His ears seem to always perk up to flattery and deceit and the promise of gain through greed. Two or three times a year we seem to get headlines about the hundreds and
sometimes thousands of people who have been bilked out of millions of dollars by what seems to be in retrospect the most transparent of deceitful schemes. The mostrecently reported ones seem to have grossed hundreds of million dollars. This is to say nothing of the multiplied billions lost through legalized gambling in our nation.
The average wage earner now seems to be squandering more than ten percent of his earnings in a vain attempt to get rich quick. The sad fact of the matter is that those who can least afford it, are the biggest losers, and children and families suffer terribly
as a result.
But Satan's biggest con is spiritual deceit. Man seems to hear only that spiritual message that pleases rather than offends him. Paul warned of this even among the people of God. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
(II Tim. 4:3) I'm afraid this prophetic principle underlies all the difficulties being confronted and battles being fought in our contemporary Christian world over the popular marketing approach to outreach and attendance.
It is clear that the artful deceiver has hit upon a good thing. They that are in the flesh do not like the message of hell and damnation that must be preached if souls are to be saved. They will not receive what they see as a butcher shop gospel. Perhaps too many of those who are supposed to be in the spirit are still in the flesh. He uses the leaders of our world as his mouth pieces in the highways and byways of the world. Voices on every hand tell man, "You can become as gods. You have a spark of divinity inside you. All you need to do is fan it. Just do the best you can. You don't need that old-fashioned God of the Bible; and especially His Son Jesus Christ. He was just another religious teacher. One religion is just as good as another."
I am sure if Eve could speak and give us a message today it would be the gospel message. She would warn us to ignore the message the masses have swallowed, hook, line and sinker. She surely would say to us what our Saviour said, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9) And, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
Yes, those who have been listening to Satan's spokesmen need to be still and know there is a God and listen for his still small voice.
They need to listen to His Words and His Spirit and turn to Him in true repentance and faith.
If the first mother could speak to us today I am sure she might say, 'DON'T DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO DO." She is well placed to give us this advice. She was the first to exercise that wonderful characteristic that distinguishes man from beast; a will. After all, she was the first human to exert her will against the God
of this universe. Why? The ultimate answer is that she did what she wanted to do. She had a choice and a volition. But with the ability of choice and decision comes awesome responsibility. She flaunted here will in the face of a Sovereign God and found she could not be God, even in her own heart. We must always remember that God always wins any contest of His sovereignty.
If Eve could speak today she would say as well, "Do what God wants you to do." I would paraphrase something that stuck in my mind that I read long ago, I do not recall the source, "Oh, for those who should of their own volition pledge their loyalty to God and truth. In this age of foot loose and fancy free living, we need to have some convictions. Man without conviction is as weak as a door sagging on its lower hinges. In this day of divided loyalties, we need those who will say, 'Right is right as God is God.' Those who know the stones of truth are clean cut and diamond square."
If the first mother could give us a message today perhaps she would say, 'DON'T GRAB FOR EVERYTHING YOU WANT." We live in a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now. Nothing ever seems to satisfy. The media is full of crimes committed by those who seem to feel that the world owes them a living. At Christmas time shops are filled with desperate and
frustrated parents trying to find that one toy or gift that will satisfy the child that has been reared to feel he must have something bigger, better and more sensational and exciting all the time.
Perhaps we can understand this in children. After all, we have made them what they are. But it is sad to see this in those who are supposed to be mature and adult; especially among those who call themselves disciples of Jesus Christ. The essence of the true Christian faith is just the opposite of this worldly philosophy of grab and get. It is let go and give. Many Christian leaders and pastors comment widely in publications upon the tendency of God's people to fall for the grab and get philosophy as a proper way of life today.
If the first mother could give us a message today I'm sure it would be simply, TRUST AND OBEY. You see, God had given the first couple every reason to trust His Word and heed His voice. He had never let them down. He had never led them astray. He had loved them freely and had always sort their comfort and well being. They had every reason to trust Him and heed His voice.
We surely can say the same today. He has spoken to us in His Word. We know the way in the wilderness of this world. All we have to do is follow. In addition, we have the mistakes of those who have gone before us to warn and guide us. Will we not heed His voice today?