Babe in the Woods

Genesis 3:3b “…you must not touch it, or you will die.”

Observation: The setting is Eden’s garden, the place God had made for intimate fellowship between Him and His highest creation. The words are Eve’s, her first recorded in Scripture. Satan has just challenged Eve by asking, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Her response began well enough: “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 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’.”

Application: In Satan’s first utterance are two questions. The first—“Did God really say” planted doubt, while the second—“You must not eat from any tree” overstated and exaggerated what he knew God to have said. In response, Eve correctly parroted God’s command but then she, too, embellished it by adding the phrase “—and you must not touch it.” Subtly, unknowingly, she had entered onto Satan’s playing field. What ensued on this unfamiliar turf was not about to be a fair fight.

I am left to wonder why Adam didn’t speak up. After all, verse 6 makes clear that he was with her, yet he apparently remained silent until it was time to try to put all the blame upon Eve. Neither of them had never before been exposed to this ancient one’s wiles, and they had no idea how badly they were going to lose. Literally, Eve was a “babe in the woods”, about to be overwhelmed by an opposing force of unimaginably evil cunning. And Adam remained silent. Poor Eve.

At least I can comfort myself with this: Surely I would not be so naïve were I in her place today. I have known the enemy’s schemes and have more experience dealing with his craftiness. I possess a Book not yet written at the time of Eve’s blowout loss.

And yet—am I any less likely than Eve to turn away from debating the enemy of my soul? Have I not hosted inner conversations of self-justification to defend continuing darkness of the heart and mind? And once discovered in sin, am I less inclined than Eve to separate myself from fellowship with the saints? While there may be a time for the occasional “Get thee behind me, Satan!” the better part of wisdom is to “flee from all this, and take hold of eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:11–12)

Prayer: Father it is so easy to read of Eve’s fall and confidently project a better outcome had I been in her place. Yet all too often I, too, have tried to play on the enemy’s turf. Forgive me, Lord. Cause me to run to You, to so live in You that I experience the full measure of Your watchcare.

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