The very first step that the devil took in tempting Eve was to call into question what God had said. The very first attack that he made was against the Word of God. Before anything else, the devil sought to undermine the authority of the Word of God on which Eve stood.
We still see this subtle attack being made against the Word of God today. It is appalling how many religions, cults, pseudo-Christian “denominations”, and various “isms” there are that take this very approach. Before they can lay out their heretical doctrines, they attack the integrity of God’s Word. It never ceases to amaze me how many groups and organizations are claiming that there is something wrong with the Bible that we are believing. It’s either been changed, or tampered with, or deliberately modified according to these people. Their primary message is that what God said in the Holy Bible is either not what He really said or not what He really meant.
“Did God say that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” has been replaced with, “Did God really say that there is a Hell?” or, “Did God really mean that Jesus is the only Way to be saved?” and, “Does the Bible really teach that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh?” The great lengths that some religious groups have gone to in order to twist, torture, and mutilate the clear Word of God in order to prop up a non-Biblical doctrine is truly astounding. Some have gone so far as to just re-write their own version in order to try to make it say something it does not!
There is great debate in some religious circles as to whether or not the Bible that we have today is accurate, complete, and reflects the true message of God to man. There is a great deal of corroborating evidence that testifies to the integrity of the Bible that we have, but that is not what is really at the heart of the matter. The real issue is whether or not what the Bible says appeals to us or not. Is it convenient to believe what it says, or does it challenge us to be transformed? Does it show us in a favorable light, or does it really reveal our own depravity? Does it condone how we behave or does it compel us to become different?
People take two different approaches to the Word of God: They either change what they believe to conform with what it says or else they change what it says to conform with what they already believe.
Eve was actually in a position similar to our own. Adam had been commanded directly from the mouth of God to not eat of the tree. Eve had really received the commandment second-hand, from the mouth of Adam. Today, we do not receive the Word of God directly from Him, we also have it passed down from those who have. My faith is not that the men and women who directly received the Word from God were able to pass down a preserved version of it, but that the same Holy Spirit Who inspired them to write His Words down is able to preserve a complete and accurate version so that I may know with all confidence that the Word of God that I have received is true and inerrant. I believe in the Bile’s authenticity because of the work of the Holy Spirit, not because of human wisdom and effort.
The heart of the matter for Eve wasn’t whether or not Adam had given her a true and accurate account of God’s Word, but that the Word she had been given conflicted with what she wanted to do. She saw that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable for attaining wisdom (Genesis 3:6). The Word of God got in the way of her own desires and either her desires or His Word had to be compromised. She made the wrong choice, will you?
To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,
[This post was originally published August 17, 2009]
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]