Response

Response.  We know the question, “Did God actually say…?”  The response to this did not happen a few days later after the woman had some time think about what was asked of her.  She didn’t consult her husband and ask him what her response should be nor did she review with the man what God actually said.  The woman also did not leave the scene or tell the serpent to leave the scene.  This creature that was speaking to her was unusual and something out of the ordinary and should have been cause for caution; however, the woman had never had to be on guard or worried about the potentials of evil in a perfect place before this moment.

Response.  “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the trees in the garden,’ but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Genesis 3:2, 3).  If we go back to Genesis 2:16, 17 and look at what God actually told the man we find, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”  This is the actual directive, “Don’t eat from one tree,” but the woman added to the directive of God and said they also could not touch it.  Now maybe this was a safeguard that the man put into place in order to protect them from eating from this tree or maybe the woman put this added restriction on the tree to protect herself.

Response.  In the woman’s response to the talking serpent, she shared with him part truth and part untruth.  In her response, she is not actually telling the serpent what God actually said, rather she is adding her own take on what God actually said.  She is adding to the words of God.  According to Proverbs 30:5, 6 “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.”  The hedgerow of protection that Even may have been thinking she was building around herself or the additional restrictive that she added to God’s original command violates these verses in Proverbs.  We are not to add to God’s word and yet that is what the woman chose to do:  add to God’s word.

Response.  Before any response, we should put it through the filter of the Bible.  Our memories are flawed, our judgment is flawed, and our emotions are flawed. Paul said it so well in Ephesians 4:14 “So that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”  We are easily deceived and must earnestly seek the truth and earnestly seek to live the truth.  In the midst of a situation, as the woman in the garden, it can be difficult to know the right response or the right action if we base it solely on ourselves, rather we need the truth of Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit in order to respond as God would have us respond.  It is never too late to start walking and living according to the truth.

Crafty

Crafty. What comes to mind when we see this word or hear this word? Is it someone who is very creative with an item and can turn it into something useful? How about someone who can figure out how to make something ordinary look magnificent? These are the positive connotations for the word, but what about the negative connotations of the word? Crafty can also mean subtle, cunning, sneaky, sly, devious, or deceitful.

Crafty. In Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty…” When God made everything in the world He said, “It is very good.” There was no evil connotation for any part of what God had made. However, when Satan fell and brought evil into the world at this particular moment he chose this particular serpent to indwell in order to confront Eve and attempt to dissuade her into being part of his evil schemes. The serpent in and of itself was not devious, sly, or crafty. After Satan indwelt the serpent, he took on these characteristics of Satan and manifested the character of Satan: crafty and devious.

Crafty. One of the first things that should have put Eve on alert that something abnormal was taking place was a talking creature. There is no previous indication that there had been talking animals before, so now Eve is confronted with a talking serpent. That should have been the first thing that made Eve be on guard and question what was going on. Rather than question a talking serpent, she entertained the question that he asked her, “Did God actually say…?”

Crafty. When met with a choice or a decision to make we must consider the source, what is being said, and how it is being said. Is it an abnormal question, does it go against what God says in the Bible, or does it go against your conscience?

Crafty. Satan being the master of manipulation and deceit will use whatever is necessary to persuade those he is tempting to make a poor choice even if it is a small, poor choice. He knows that a small choice that is wrong will eventually lead to an even bigger poor choice. Satan will use our emotions, our selfish desires, our insecurities, and our misconceptions of truth to deceive us into making a poor choice. He even allows us to take credit for an idea that was really his if that decision leads us further down the path of sin and destruction.

Crafty. These decision do not start out on a path to moral or emotional destruction, but rather they start out rather innocently without there being any consequences or any ill-effects from the first wrong thought or wrong decision. As Satan, indwelling the serpent, approached Eve, there was nothing wrong with the approach of the serpent. Adam had named the animals and conceivably the only way this could have happened was God brought the animals to Adam to name. Adam was not chasing the animals around looking for all the different animals that God had created. God brought these animals to him.

Crafty. An animal approaching Eve was not something uncommon, but when the animal began to speak Eve should have taken this as the first clue that there was something wrong. No animal had talked with her before. However, being in a perfect environment may have caused her to not think there was anything she had to be on guard.

Crafty. When a situation arises, however small and insignificant we must ask ourselves. “Does this go against the Bible, against what God says, or against my conscience? The crafty serpent will not take the form of a serpent, but he may take the form of another sin that will entangle us until we can’t even remember what the first step was on the path of destruction. It all starts with a choice.

Choices

Choices. We all have them, not just on a daily basis but on a minute-by-minute basis. We hear about our choices on TV, the radio, conversation with friends and family, books we read, and the list could go on.  What choices do we face?  What should I wear, what should I eat, what should I watch, what should I listen to, should I get out of bed or hit the snooze one more time?  Choices are made every day many times without any thought about the “why” behind what we choose.  As we watch a commercial and then go hunt in the pantry for the latest chip that was advertised because they looked so good on TV, we are being persuaded again without any preconceived thought as to why we make the choices we make.

Choices.  Many choices we make are impulsive.  Many choices we make are “from the gut.”  Sometimes these choices are good ones and other times they prove to have life altering consequences or life altering repercussions.  These choices we make not only affect the person making them, but also those around us, those we love, and those we trust.  So why do we make poor choices that are not thought through?  I think there is only one way to summarize these poor choices: selfishness.

Choices.  At our house, there is a phrase that I commonly say to my daughters, “It’s not about you.”  They don’t appreciate this phrase too much when it comes out of my mouth and reaches their ears and their hearts.  Many times we think that a situation should be about what we need, when truthfully someone else has needs far greater than ours.  Many times the words that we say are hurtful because we think the conversation or the relationship should be about us, should be about me.

Choices.  Many times I consider the people that I enjoy being around the most:  it is those people that care about me despite the circumstances in their lives.  These individuals are looking out for my best interest and want to meet my needs.  The love they have for me flows not just from their words, but also flows from their actions.  Sometimes it seems to flow from their pours.  When I am with these lovely people, I want to return in a small way what they have given to me, and many times I feel so inadequate.

Choices.  The flip side of this is those individuals that are selfish and are always manipulating a situation for personal gain.  We know people like this too.  A conversation is always about them, they never ask a question about you, and when you do talk they always seem to be thinking about what to say next rather than listen intently to what you are saying.  They frequently interrupt in order to make their point because it is such a good point.

Choices.  My question is why do we allow ourselves to be around these types of people or why do we allow people to even act this way?  Why do we tolerate people that continue to make choices that negatively affect us?  These people could be part of our family and we have no choice, but many times they are such good manipulators we believe the words they say when we know the truth of how they live their lives.

Choices.  So which person are you?  What are the choices that you make that show the kind of person you really are?  What flows from your pours to the people in your lives?  We all make choices every day, small choices and big choices, and each of these choices no matter the magnitude affect the next step in our lives.  Will you think before you act or speak next time?

Soft

Soft. In the original language of the Hebrew “isha” (woman) means soft.  Some may take offense to this definition of a woman.  A woman has many characteristics that make her strong and by some definitions hard.  A woman is able to multitask by making supper, helping with homework, and fixing a broken toy.  A woman is tough when it comes to childbirth.  Going through labor is not a job for the weak.  A woman is tough to have gone through childbirth more than once because we know exactly what we are getting ourselves into.

Soft.  Woman have gone into battle and fought heroically to victory, for example Joan of Arc or Deborah in the Bible.  Women take a stand for what is right like Rosa Parks who would not yield her seat on a bus in order to make the statement that blacks and whites were equally right to that seat.  Many wives of our Presidents have proven strong during difficult times as First Ladies in a public and often political role.  Martha Washington ran the Washington estate while late President Washington was leading an army or leading the country.  Louisa Catherine Adams traveled with her young son through rough terrain and treacherous conditions when left behind in Russia by late president John Quincy Adams as he handled foreign affairs.  We could list many women who have quite capably handled challenging, grueling, and even incomprehensible situations in life.

Soft.  When woman was first given the name “woman” of all the words to be chosen, the name she was given means “soft.”  I am touched by this word that God has given to us as females.  Soft doesn’t mean squishy with fat bulges hanging out all over so that when a woman is touched she feels soft.  “Soft” means her character, it is the way she comes across with those she interacts with.  The softest moments of a woman are when she is caring for her newborn baby.  She is tender, gentle, sensitive, tenderhearted, and even sentimental.  When I think of the ideal picture of a mom these are the words that come to mind.  Do these words apply only to a mom or can they apply to any woman?  They apply to any woman since this is the meaning of woman.

Soft. So the question to ponder is why do some woman think being soft is a detriment to their character or to their relationships?  As a general rule we tend to think when we are soft, we are mistreated, taken advantage of, or abused.  Can we be soft and yet still have a strength of character?  Of course!  Proverbs 15:1 states “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.”  Think about the kind of people we enjoy being around.  Is it the calloused uncaring individual that we are drawn to or is it the soft, tender person who is understanding and encouraging to us?  Maybe we can step back into the roles we were meant to have and be soft as woman.  I wonder what would change in our lives, our homes, and our world.

Male and Female

Male and Female. God created the human race with two distinct individuals: male and female. Man was created first from the dust of the ground. Adam means “Red Earth.” “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7). God did not speak when He created man, rather God formed man from the dust. How is this possible when “God is a Spirit…?” (John 4:24). “…With God all things are possible.” (Mt. 19:26). God reached down to the ground and gathered some dirt/dust and formed man. “…For out of the dust you were taken: for dust you are, and unto dust you shall return.” (Ge 3:19).

Male. Formed from dust, yet made in the image of God; given characteristics, responsibilities, and uniqueness from all that was created before him. Man was made distinctly different from any other creature that came before him. As Adam was fulfilling his first responsibility of naming the animals given to him by God, there was a distinction between Adam and all the animals that came before him to be named. Not only were the animals not made in the image of God, but they also had mates and there was no mate found for Adam. Two distinct differences at this point in history between man and the animals: no mate and made in the image of God.

Female. After the naming of the animals, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18) Enter the woman. God was the first surgeon and anesthesiologist. He caused Adam to go to sleep and took a rib and some of the surrounding flesh from his side. God took the rib and flesh and used it to form the first woman. God could have spoken and the woman came into being, as He did for the previous parts of Creation. God could have taken dust and formed the woman like He had for man, but instead He took a rib from man and formed and fashioned the woman from man’s rib. Again we see the uniqueness of both male and female.

Male and Female. We see the significance of this when we read Adam’s words when he first meets the woman, “This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23). Adam realizes that finally he now has a companion that is like him. Before Eve was created there was no human besides Adam. Adam was higher than the animals since he was created in the image of God and lower than God since God was his Creator. There was no one similar to him before the creation of Eve.

Male and Female. The male realized his need for the woman and the woman became the “helper” (Genesis 2:20) for the man. She was the helper and was needed to fulfill the command of the Lord, “Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion…” (Genesis 1:28). Male and Female both necessary to fulfill the command of the Lord to be fruitful and to subdue the earth. They were to work together to fulfill the commandment of God. God made the first team and put them together to accomplish His purpose for creation.

God’s Image

Image, God’s Image. I embrace the fact that I was made in God’s image, yet there are many who shun this fact.  There are many who loathe the thought of being made in God’s Image.  These deny the existence of God and also believe that the beginning of the world happened through a set of cosmic collisions that happened at a random moment in time and space. 

 

Image, God’s Image.  The word image in the original Hebrew language means likeness.  Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’”  In the Hebrew language if something is repeated, it is done for emphasis, not much different than our English language.  The more important something is the more we repeat it in different ways using different words so the point can be made and the person listening to us can understand what we are communicating.  In this verse, God is communicating to us that we as human beings are made in God’s image.  God wants us to walk away from this verse and realize how important we are because we are made in His Image.  If we read the verses preceding this one, there is no mention of anything else being created in God’s image.  No animal or plant was made in God’s image.

 

Image, God’s Image.  When a baby is born everyone tries to decide who the baby looks like.  Does this cute little bundle of joy look like his/her Mom or Dad or even Grandpa or Grandma?  What is the likeness of this little one?  Bigger than Mom and Dad, this little one is in the likeness of God.  When we hold that new baby for the first time, do we attribute its unique characteristics to random chance or an ordered design by the Grand Designer? 

 

Image, God’s Image.  What happens when we attribute our existence to random chance?  What happens when we attribute our existence to a set of cosmic collisions at a random time and space?  We demean ourselves.  We as human beings are no greater than the atoms that collided together to randomly bring us into existence.  As demeaned human beings we are no better than the cosmic particles that collided to form us.  No wonder so many human beings struggle with who they are and their self-esteem.  No wonder so many struggle with their identity and their self-worth, their origin was a random chance.

 

Image, God’s Image.  What happens when we attribute our existence to an eternal God who holds the world in the palm of His hand? (Psalms 95:3-5).  There is a part of most humans to want to meet a famous person.  Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Henry Ford…Any one of these men would be so interesting to meet, talk with, and pick their brains.  Why?  They invented some interesting, fascinating, and life-altering products.  The way we live our lives has been dramatically altered by the inventions of these men.  Sitting in their presence and talking with them would have an impact on any of our lives.

 

Image, God’s Image.  If these men invented such wonderful things and we desire to meet them to get a glimpse of their genius, wouldn’t we also want to meet the Creator of the Universe who made us in His image?  Not only did God create us as human beings, He made us even better than the animals by making us in His image.  As we ponder this concept, this overwhelming concept, tell me why anyone would want to attribute their existence to random chance through molecular collision? 

Original Intent

Original intent.  What do these words mean?  An ink pen is not used to pound in a nail, nor is a hammer used to write a letter.  The original intent of these objects was to write and pound in nails.  The original intent of these objects can be changed by humans, but they will not effectively do the job or task for which they were originally made.

 

Original intent. How far have we come from the original intent of our founding fathers with our Constitution?  It was meant to be a guideline for our everyday lives, instead of the original intent of the authors being considered, we now have a living document that no longer looks at the original intent of the framers but rather peers at life in the 21st century through our current rose colored glasses.  Instead of looking at a situation through the eyes of the framers, our judicial system now looks at the constitution through the eyes of our current political agenda.

 

Original intent.  Man and woman were created in the image of God.  This fact was not disputed or questioned until the 1800’s.  No one thought of the world coming into being at any other time than when God created it.  No human being was present when God said, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1: 3).  Not one human being was present the day fish began to swim, the day the eagle first took flight, or the moment when a dog smelled its first spot of grass.  No one except Adam heard the first words from God as He gave Adam instructions on the purpose and guidelines for his life.  The original intent of God was for man and woman to rule the earth and to “…Be fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:28).

 

Original intent.  God created the world as a perfect place with perfect people who had the perfect job and the perfect food.  If we want to truly see our roles and responsibilities as humans we must go back to the original intent of God.  This original intent of God has not changed, just as the use of a hammer and a fountain pen have not changed.  Just as the original intent of the Founding Fathers was never meant to change, so the original intent of God for the world has not changed. 

 

Original intent.  The idea behind the story of evolution sees our world coming out of chaos, quite the dichotomy from the Creation account.  Chaos vs. Orderly Creation.  As humans we are bombarded with a barrage of “facts” about the original intent of our world.  Is it evolving to a more perfect state or is it heading towards more disorder and chaos?  The account of Creation would have us believe our world is becoming increasingly chaotic, whereas the account of evolution would have us believe our world is becoming more orderly.  What is the original intent of the foundation of the world?  Chaos to order or order to chaos?  We must look at the world around us and evaluate these two thoughts based on what we see.  Is there more order or less order? Is there more chaos or less chaos?  Original intent.