The Salesman from Hell | Genesis 3:1-13

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Innocence meets insolence

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

Thought for the Day

– (Man that’s what happened when I ended up with one of my cars many years back. Guess I am no more astute than Eve was. Just thought I knew what I was doing. That car salesman beguiled me.)

Chapter 3, jumps right into the action using one of the best and most used lines I know of to create dissatisfaction and launch a prospect into action.  The slickest of the slick Willies, will state an obvious misstatement to get his victims attention. In this one statement, the serpent, approaches Eve and asks “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees is the garden?”  The serpent knew the truth and with one sentence appealed to her pride (which is she knew better), and secondly her pride is effected in the fact that other creatures were talking about her naivety toward God. This serpent was paying attention in his Marketing 101 class.

Verse 2 -4 – Eve takes the bait, and the serpent has her talking. She shows him the error in his ways and points out, that there is only one tree where the fruit is not to be taken from. She further explains that God said she would die if she ate from the tree and she was to not touch it.  – Some might think it was rather cruel of God to put a tree in the garden, that was so dangerous, others would say this very tree provided Gods people the freedom of choice.

This tree, was the only way one could show their loyalty for God, or their desire to please themselves. The serpent has Eve’s attention, and explains to her that she will not die and will become like God with a perfect understanding of good an evil. At this point Eve must decide, should she trust the serpent, or should she trust God.  The tree and the serpent were just too mysterious for Eve to resist.

The serpent used a direct lie that eve had to correct, listened to her rejection of the lie, then told her that she did not entirely have the truth in respect to death. He explained she was being denied the ultimate knowledge of good and evil and he could provide that knowledge and make her like God. The product being sold by the serpent was exactly what was promised In verse 6, Eve bites and the hook is sunk along with all humanity. Eve did not physically die, and her eyes were opened to the Knowledge of good and evil. (Personally, I could do without some knowledge.)

Remember how Adam and Eve were together naked and were not ashamed in chapter 2? Well Chapter 3:7 that all changed. Now they both stand naked and ashamed.

Now, peace in the garden is gone, they hide from God when he shows up. Verse 12, and 13 are sadly funny. Adam blames the action on Eve, and Eve blames the serpent or Satan for their actions. Today most us of us still do not have the fortitude to step up and take responsibility for our mistakes.  As I alluded to earlier, some might say the entire mess is God’s fault because he created the tree of Knowledge.

In our society, one can equate this with a car owner being arrested for owning a very nice sports car and handing the keys his best valet. (Equal to the tree of knowledge). The young valet is angry about his boss being so rich. Since he has the keys he approaches the best but very young employee in the mail room selling him on the fact that he is really missing out on something if he does not take the car for a spin. Figuring it must be OK, since the nice man has the keys and works for the boss. The mail room guy takes advantage of the opportunity and subsequently wrecks the car.  Most of us would probably agree that the valet and mail room employee should be fired and arrested. Others would arrest the Businessman for having a car that was such a temptation that his employees would be inclined to misuse it.

Everyday someone is trying to sell us something, sometimes a physical item we go into debt or spend our emergency fund to get, a new philosophy, diet, or other revolutionary thing. Most of the time, the lines are the same as the line used to sink Eve, with slight variations. In the end, having the product may make us happy, but greater lasting joy is diminished. We have to pay the price in diminished savings, increased debt, or just the sheer amount of work associated with the new product or idea. Today, we are still slaves to our desires catered to by the same line that Adam and Eve fell for all those years ago.

People have not changed, neither has God. When we fall he may not bail us out right away, our fall only highlights the work that needs to be done in our lives. God provided mankind a path from certain destruction that was acquired by the human race that day. The path is longer and more difficult than we like.  The path out of destruction is simple in concept; focus on Jesus and stop listening to the salesman.

Have a wonderful day, and remember to thank Jesus for his gift of hope.

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