by Kristen C. Strocchia
“The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” Genesis 3:2-3
While Satan clouded God’s command with a doubt-raising misquote, Eve furthers her own beguiling by 1) assuming the serpent’s intent and 2) adding to God’s Word.
Immediately, Eve understands that Satan is opposing her Creator God. And the serpent not only questions God’s Words, but His provision, goodness, kindness, justice and wisdom–all ultimately undermining His sovereignty. In short, Satan draws all of the attributes of God into question with his question.
And Eve takes up God’s defense.
Unfortunately, in her fervor to explain, she also adds to God’s Word. Inadvertently or intentionally we don’t know.
We only know that Eve–as Satan did a moment before her–misquotes God by adding more to what He said than what He actually said. Though Eve clearly knew the consequence for disobeying the command, God hadn’t told her and Adam not to touch the tree, just not to eat of it.
But doesn’t she sound confident? Sure of herself? So while Eve hadn’t sinned yet, she certainly was exercising her freewill precariously.
Satan’s tactics haven’t changed in the just over 6,000 year history of the Creation. He still attacks by raising doubt. He questions everything about who God is and what He says, pushing us to defend our faith–our absolute certainty in what we hope for, but cannot see. Baiting us to act on our assumptions. Tempting us to speak to our own uncertainties in the Word of God, while leading us to add and subtract from His absolute truth in defense of our faith before others.
Yes, we should always be ready to give an answer for the hope we have within us [1 Peter 3:15], but this should be coupled with divine discernment. Satan could’ve cared less what Eve answered. He was ready to spin anything his way to lead her–and the rest of humanity…aka Adam–astray. And there will be those in our path who are not asking about our faith out of genuine interest. There will be those who ask in order to bait us to defend so that they can offend.
Are you quick to defend your faith to those who raise doubts? Pray for discernment and for God’s Word to be spoken, not your own. Are you daily in God’s Word, preparing yourself to give an answer for the hope that you have?