God Is Not The Only PlannerPosted: November 4, 2012
“Satan is the father of lies,” says Jesus. He invented the practice. He employed it to perfection on our first parents, Adam and Eve. He tempted them through lies. He trapped them by presenting believable falsehoods. How could a falsehood ever be made believable? Turn to Genesis 3 and observe the Master Deceiver.
Before being tempted, Eve accurately recited to Satan the warning of God: “God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, or you will die'” (Genesis 3:3). Obviously, God was correct – to eat the forbidden fruit would be a sin, and sin always…always…always…leads to death (Romans 6, James 1). But the Liar, Satan, flat out contradicts this in the very next sentence, saying five words that don’t have a speck of truth in them: “You will not surely die.” LIAR.
Now pause right here. I am certain that if this had been the end of the conversation between Satan and Eve, there would have been no Fall. There would have been no deception. Sin would not have entered the world. Satan’s lie would have been spotted for what it really was. It would have been painfully easy to know that Satan was blatantly lying at this point. Their conversation so far is basically Eve saying, “God said I’ll die if I do that,” and Satan saying, “No you won’t.” I doubt this simple contradiction would have been enough to trick Eve into eating the fruit. It took no genius whatsoever on Satan’s part to simply contradict God. But it took incredible, terrible genius to say what he said next.
His complete thought: “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Is this second sentence a lie? No. You see, part of being innocent is being unaware. Adam and Eve were blessed to be beautifully unaware of evil in the Garden before they sinned; they knew only good. They had no knowledge of evil, which is exactly what Satan promised them – that their eyes would be opened, and they would know good and evil and thus be like God (who is aware of all things). And guess what? Satan did not lie when he said that. That is exactly what happened. Adam and Eve ate the fruit, learned of the existence of evil, and became like God. God himself says so later: “The man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:22). Satan lied when he promised Eve she wouldn’t die. But he didn’t lie when he promised her that her eyes would be opened. Her eyes were opened, indeed – in a more terrible, shameful way than any of us can imagine. That’s the part Satan conveniently left out. He told a lie followed by a half-truth. He made his falsehood believable.
If you want to be a good liar, this is a great pattern to learn. Don’t just lie head-on or you’ll get laughed at. But dress your lie up in some great-looking half-truths and you’re in business. Plant some doubt and then go for the kill. It worked like a charm on Eve, and it still works on us today. Satan has yet to update his methods. He still plants lies painted with truth. For instance, how about this faulty logic: “God created sex for people to enjoy” (TRUTH). “That means I’m free enjoy it whenever and however I want.” (LIE). Just because God created a gift does not mean they’re aren’t guidelines for enjoying it. How about this one? “My decisions don’t define me; I am more than just my decisions” (TRUTH). “Therefore my decisions don’t matter” (LIE). Your decisions are not isolated events that are made in unrelated vacuums. They are steps that are going to lead you somewhere and they matter. A lot.
Here’s the punch line. The Deception will not come to you uncamouflaged. Temptations do not announce themselves. Effective lies are not apparent. They are cleverly clothed in half-truths and on the surface they seem hopelessly attractive. This has been Satan’s procedure from the beginning – he won’t try to take you all at once; it’s a slow fade. It is time to understand that Satan has a plan for your life, too. A specific one. And he’s trillions of times smarter and stronger than you. But thankfully, because of Jesus, “in all these things we are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). And since “we lack wisdom, we should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5).
Pray for wisdom. Expose the lie. “And then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).