Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
If you grew up in church, you probably learned the old hymn “This Is My Father’s World.” Theologically that hymn is true–this world really does belong to God. But sometimes that is hard to believe, isn’t it? When you look around at the diseases, the wars, the natural disasters that attack this planet, and even the attacks in your own life, it is really hard to believe God is still in control. How was this world transformed from the Garden of Eden into a war zone?
Last week we saw that it all began when God’s chief of staff, Lucifer (whom we now call Satan), instigated a rebellion against his Creator. One day a thought came into Lucifer’s heart that he wanted something different than what God wanted for him. Because of his rebellion, God cast Lucifer out of heaven, and by some accounts a third of the angels followed him. But he has not given up. Right now Satan is trying to build a rival kingdom that will one day overtake the kingdom of God.
This battle between God and Satan is being played out in three very distinct rounds. Round one of this fight I am calling “Deception.” We find it described in Genesis 1. When Satan and his angels crash landed on planet Earth, perhaps they got here just in time to see God’s crowning act of creation. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Then verse 31 says, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”
Think about that phrase “God created man in His own image” from Satan’s point of view. If you resented God as much as Satan did, the only thing worse than having to look at one God would be having to look at a multitude of people who resembled God. Satan saw the first couple, Adam and Eve, and he was filled with hatred. That hatred gave way to a diabolical idea. As he heard God proclaim, “This is very good!” Satan thought, “What if I could deceive these newly created servants of God into becoming my servants instead? What if I could turn God’s greatest creation into His greatest mistake?” Through a plan we will look at in more detail next week, Satan was able to lure Adam and Eve into building their lives around the lie that life apart from God is not only possible, but preferable. They said exactly what Lucifer had said in his heart many eons earlier: “I want something different in my life than what God wants for me.” That was Satan’s plan of deception.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “War Of The Worlds” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.