Scripture Reading: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not 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.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. –Genesis 3:1-7
Beware of the manipulators! Jesus put it this way, ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15) Snakes and wolves are predators. They prey on others to their own advantage. There seems to be a lot of that going around these days, but I guess it has happened since the beginning of time. If what people are saying it too good to be true it probably is not true.
What drives us to go against our better judgment or common sense when we are the creation of the Almighty God who is love? Why do we turn away from God in search of short-term delights which never meet our needs? What is evil and why is it so alluring? 1 Timothy 6:10 may help us understand the nature of evil: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. Is evil an attractive shortcut described as the way to our heart’s desires? Evil leads us around through darkness to emptiness keeping us so busy on the journey we lose sight of the One who is the source of all we need.
God is still with us, still loving us, still welcoming us back into God’s arms, despite all that we do. God’s light illuminates darkness; God’s love fills emptiness.
Prayer: Lord forgive us when we get caught up in that which is not good for us nor is it beneficial for the development of your Kingdom. Keep us mindful of your purpose for our lives. Fill us with your love; fill us with your joy. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.