Deadly Tree, Genesis 3:1b-5

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’” Genesis 3:1.

Having sought the opportune time, Satan the father of lies now speaks through the serpent.

“And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’” Genesis 3:1b.

“…has God indeed said” the King James Version renders it in the same manner, “Yea, hath God said”, Satan begins his deception by questioning God’s commandment; “Has God really said?” “Is that what God really said?” implying that he (the serpent) was skeptical of God’s commandment.

A question like this forces the one questioned to give an answer.

The serpent might in honesty have phrased the question more like this, “Can you eat of all of the trees in the garden?”

But it was a question he would not have asked since he was aware that they ate from many of the trees. The serpent was not speaking his own words.

“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” The question is intended to confuse her and make her question what she knows.

This was the reverse of what she knew; they could eat of every tree of the garden (including the tree of life), except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, just one tree in the garden of Eden, see below.

“And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:9.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.

But when the Devil put his question the way he did, she would begin to wonder why God would deny them the fruit of this tree.

This trick works; first create discontent, then an ambition for something which one now perceives as better. Communism works this way, first they foment discontent within the masses, they then offer the people an opportunity to become equal by killing innocent citizens, seizing the assets of the rich and distributing them to the poor.

This works on paper, but due to the sin nature, the poor not only remain poor but they then become poorer and have to wait in line for medical care, and suffer under food, clothing, housing shortages, and fuel rationing, permanently.

Yes, and as planned the hated rich become richer and the powerful become dictators. Demonically diabolical is it not?

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’” Genesis 3:1.

Satan having spoken through the serpent questioning God’s word now brings the woman’s reply.

“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’” Genesis 3:2-3.

There is a strong indication that Adam is standing next to his wife as she says these things, yet he does not say anything when she misquotes God twice in this verse.

She is correct in saying that all of the trees were for food except this one. She is incorrect because she adds to God’s words in stating that they must not eat of this tree (correct), nor can they touch it (incorrect), because God said nothing about touching it.

It was Adam’s responsibility to make sure that Eve understood God’s words exactly as He spoke them. It is possible that he did do this and then she mentally added to it, however, I doubt this.

This seems like such a piddling point until you realize that a lot of error has crept into both Judaism and now Christianity because of folks misusing Scripture, and others accepting these errors because they were unwilling to study the Bible for themselves.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.

All of us who have access to the Scriptures are responsible before God to study His word.

If for some reason you cannot read the Bible there are CDs of the entire Bible which you can listen to with earphones or in your car during commutes.

Eve’s second error occurs when she added to her statement “…nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”

The words, lest you die, indicates that she did not realize the full ramifications of God’s warning. God stated in the strongest terms.

“…in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17b.

He did not say, lest you die, or you might die, He said, “you shall surely die”!

“And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” Genesis 3:4.

This is the absolute lie, when something contradicts Scripture it is to be rejected. Notice that the serpent correctly quoted God when he said, “surely die”, he did not quote Eve’s words, “…lest you die.”

This is an ultimate blasphemy, denying the word of God and calling Him a liar.

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Matthew 24:11.

“But there were also false prophets among the people [Israel], even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” 2 Peter 2:1-2.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15.

“For I [Apostle Paul] know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Acts 20:29-30.

“…we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive…” Ephesians 4:14.

Mark this well, “…in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive”, men will knowingly and in malice lie in wait to deceive you.

And as Satan used the familiar face of a serpent, so these men or women can assumed the innocent face of a trusted friend, and smile as they rob you of everything whether of your faith in God or your life savings.

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:15-18. Quote taken from Romans 3:9-20.

Having uttered the lie Satan continues by causing her to think critical thoughts of God shaking her faith in His motives, and then giving the false hope of advantages and a benefit from sin.

“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5.

Having gotten away with vilifying God by calling Him a liar, “You will not surely die.” the Devil goes on to add to the error with some pretty believable half-truths. Consider all of verse five above for a moment.

If God created all things, then He must have created this tree which He then tells our parents to stay away from in the strictest terms. If God is afraid of their eating of this tree; why did He create it to begin with? Can God be afraid?

Can God be so insecure that He would be afraid of someone becoming like Him? Really my friends think about this. Men seem to have accepted Satan’s lie that God has limitations such as a fear of someone coming along and replacing Him.

Men think that God has a lot of problems of His own like running this huge universe which He got a little carried away when He created it, and managing all those angels, and managing to keep all of mankind from getting out from under His control.

And the worst of it is keeping ahead of that wily old genius of a Devil who keeps Him busy putting out fires and trying to stop his latest devilish plot. “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”

“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Romans 16:20.

It has been rightly said that Satan lost everything at the foot of the cross, but the thing is, he never won anything, he was undone coming out of the gate the moment this tiny person rebelled against God. God is enormous!

He is bigger than the universe He created, He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, He is infinite, and to Him Satan is weak as any of us.

Though he wants us to think he has God constantly on the run; his presence before God is as distracting as a gnat hitting the corner of our windshield at 70 miles an hour.

Having portrayed God as insecure to Eve, the liar continues, “…your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” the truth is they will be like God knowing good and evil.

God does know the difference, but such knowledge is useless to men, knowing good and evil is not wisdom, it does not show you what to do with it when you recognize it.

Another aspect is that to gain the knowledge of good and evil, Eve had to sin. The irony of it is that she had to disobey God, she had to sin to become like God.

This is something that Satan was well aware of since he too had to sin (rebel) to be like God. Of the five “I wills” that Satan uttered in his rebellion against God the last one was, “I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14b.

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13-15.

Deadly Tree, Genesis 3:1b-5 taken from posted on 7-23-14, updated on 10-2-21.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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