Fireworks and MercyHow does it make you feel to know that God understands your human frailty and has mercy on you?
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He Said, She Said
Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden? (v.1).
A radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds panicked thousands of listeners back in 1938. People who tuned in actually believed that aliens had landed on a farm in New Jersey and were preparing to attack the United States. They mistook a work of fiction for actual current events! A series of phony news bulletins featured a reporter giving an “eyewitness” account of terrifying happenings. As a result, confused citizens swarmed police stations and hundreds of people required medical help for “shock and hysteria.”
Confusion was a key factor in the fall of humankind. Most of us know the story: The snake struck up a conversation with Eve by asking, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” (v.1). No! Eve corrected the serpent, but she didn’t get God’s statement right; she added something. She claimed that God said, “You must not eat it or even touch [the fruit]; if you do, you will die” (v.3). But God never said anything about touching the fruit.
The snake carried on his campaign of confusion. “You won’t die!” (v.4) he said. He insinuated that sampling the “illegal substance” would make life better for Eve because she would become “like God, knowing both good and evil” (v.5). Eve took the bait, but life did not improve. When she and Adam nibbled the forbidden fruit, “at that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame” (v.7). (Can’t you hear the snake snickering in the background?)
Today, Satan confuses people by lying about what God has said and suggesting that consequences for sin don’t exist. He uses various opening lines: Just once won’t hurt . . . no one will ever know . . . everyone’s doing it. Accurately quoting God’s words and acting on His truth when tempted (Psalms 37:31; Matthew 4:1), however, means we won’t become bewildered by lies.
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
What aspect of God’s Word has Satan tried to twist in your life? How can the Bible help you combat the temptation you face today?
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