The First Temptation – Part 1

Grace For The Journey

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27feb   The first book of the Bible, Genesis, examines the three truths that make up the Scriptures: Creation, the Fall, and Redemption.  The more we grown in our understanding through the advances of science, the more evidence is gathered to affirm the biblical truth that God created everything.  To understand Creation is the first building block to understanding man’s purpose and place in the world.

However, one thing that science cannot explain is why the world is in the condition it is today.  Man has been trying to “recreate” a perfect world – a world free of selfishness, hate, disease, and death.  In spite of all that man has to work with in education, commerce, politics, and social resources there is more deception, disease, discord, and death than at any other time in the history of the world.  To understand what happened since God declared all His creation “good,” we will look over the next several days at the biblical teaching of man’s fall, where Satan appears in the Garden of Eden and directs his seductive words at our first parents Adam and Eve, and the redemptive response by God to their rebellious acts.  We will deal with the biblical narrative of Satan’s temptation today and tomorrow; then we will finish up the week in looking at God’s redemptive response.  Today we will look at “the Laugh” and tomorrow we will look at “the Lie.”

THE LAUGH

The “laugh” is located in Genesis 3:1, where we see the first recorded question in Scripture: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”  The way this phrase is constructed in the Hebrew language we are to get the sense that Satan is laughing, mocking God in the question he asks Eve.  He is not asking Eve to confirm that God actually said what He said; rather, the serpent seems to be asking, “Was God really so unloving and unfair as to say such a thing?”     

Satan was not denying what God said; he was sneering at what God said.  And this, my friend, is the spirit of this age.  Today, the Word of God is held up to such ridicule in so many quarters.  Those who believe it are laughed at and mocked.  Listen to some of the laughing of the lost:

  • “You don’t really believe a man spent three days and nights in the belly of a great fish and was spit out on the shore alive do you?”
  • “You’re not serious about the parting of the Red Sea and the Israelites walking across on dry land are you?”
  • Surely you don’t believe Noah spent more than 100 years building a boat in the middle of dry ground and then proceeded to get two of every kind of animal to join him for the first recorded cruise . . . do you?”
  • “Do you mean to tell me you actually believe the walls of Jericho – if there even was such a place – came tumbling down because people walked around the city for a week, blew some horns, and yelled at the top of their lungs?”

What we need to remember is the fact that there is nothing “cutting edge” about mocking and laughing at the truth claims of the Bible and the Christian faith.  That tired act goes all the way back to the Garden!

Nobody likes to be ridiculed for what they believe.  Nobody likes to be the object of scoffing and scorn.  In fact, so deep is our fear of being mocked, whenever we hear people laughing when we are in the same area we immediately wonder if it is directed at us!  Let me give you a great nugget of comfort I picked up somewhere: “you wouldn’t care what others thought of you if you realized how little they did!”

What we need to remember about the laughing of the lost is that our God is in control of all things – and that includes the laughing of the lost!

The Bible says in Psalm 2:4, “He (God) who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.”

And In Psalms 59:8, “But you, O Lord, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.” 

In the process of God making all things new, He is also making all things right, and in the end He will be the one laughing.  When we are on the receiving end of the laughing of the lost, we need to lift them to the throne of grace and pray that God would give them eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts to beat for the glory of the King.

Satan has no regard for God, His Word, His will, or His people.  His plan of attack has not changed … He is seeking to mock God’s Word, His way and His will and persuade people to think that God is unloving and unfair.

Tomorrow we will look at the second part of the Fall – the Lie.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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