We have many examples biblically and in our daily lives of the challenges and triumphs of serving God. Sometimes we have to sit back and be honest about the answer to this question: Do we really want to serve God? This is one of those questions that we should be honest with because God already knows the answer. Without embarrassing myself or any of the folks I counsel, let’s review how hard it can be through the eyes of the first family.
God gave Adam and Eve dominion over everything that He created on earth and entrusted them as keepers of the Garden of Eden. Adam was clearly given instructions on how to serve God and what God’s expectation was within their covenant. There is sufficient evidence that Adam instructed Eve regarding service to God, as her conversation with the serpent reveals instructions regarding the forbidden fruit – her mate would have been the only person to tell her. (Gen. 3:1-5).
The Bible does not reveal to us exactly how long Adam and God shared this covenant relationship before Eve was created, but arguably Adam definitely knew the benefits of this union and enjoyed the splendor of serving God and being obedient to His word.
Unfortunately, Eve was deceived and Adam turned from leader to follower and the two were alienated from God and sin separated them. The covenant had been broken and the relationship drastically changed. In this state, it would have been better for Adam to have never known the covenant relationship with God rather than experience it and lose everything. Said Peter in 2 Pet. 2:21: “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”
We have the same opportunity Adam and Eve had to glorify God. We receive arguably better things than they did, considering the fact that the world is a bit more advanced than in their day.
Nevertheless, as they struggled to maintain a relationship that is pleasing to God, we do, too. And we don’t do it for the same reason they didn’t – we lust from our eyes, we lust in our flesh and we’re full of pride. Satan knows these things so he attacks us through one or all of these three.
If you read the conversation between the serpent and Eve you will see these three things in play:
- Eve saw that the fruit was good (lust of the eye)
- Eve saw that the fruit held the key to wisdom that could make her like God (pride of life)
- Eve’s answer to the question of why they were at that tree in the first place (lust of the flesh)
Adam and Eve could eat from any tree save this one. It was in the midst of the garden. Wouldn’t you think that it would be easy to avoid? Why couldn’t they stay on the outer banks and never go into the midst of the garden to be tempted regarding the tree?
The challenges we face in the flesh lead us to second guess what we know to be right or wrong. It is literally how we are drawn away.
Can this process be avoided?
Next week we’ll examine Cain and Abel and draw some meaningful conclusions about them and the lesson that comes from their story.