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“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

Everything was good. Very good, in fact. 

All creation existed in perfect harmony, and at the centerpiece of everything was the crown jewel of creation. 

Man and woman. Made in God’s own image.

The man and the woman lived in perfect fellowship with God, walking with Him with no guilt, shame, or any other hindrance. And into this harmony slithered the cunning serpent armed with what must have seemed like a very innocent question. In fact, it’s such a simple question that we might easily miss the cunning nature of it.

On the surface, it’s a question about a tree and one specific prohibited action associated with that tree. It looks like an informational question. It would seem that the serpent was just making an innocent inquiry about what God had said or hadn’t said. 

But that’s just the surface. 

There is something much deeper – and more sinister – going on there.

Behind the simplicity was the cunning undertone. 

Behind this simple exchange that set off a cosmos-rocking event. 

The fork-tongued liar was leveling charges against the very character and nature of God. 

What came off like a question was really an accusation. The serpent was making a claim that God was not loving and generous because He had held something back. 

And that accusation was enough to get the mental wheels of doubt spinning in the first humans.

But you see…

…it’s not really about the tree.

Not really. 

Because in each and every case of temptation, there is something deeper going on. It’s always about more than the particular temptation on the surface. 

It’s always, in the end, about what we believe to be true about God.

At its heart, every temptation and our response to it is about who we know God to be. 

And who do we know God to be? 

  • We know Him to be our Father who knows how to give good gifts and keeps us from what is less than the best. 
  • We know Him to be the God who demonstrated this kind of love and wisdom and generosity by giving the life of His Son, Jesus, for our sake.

No, friends, it’s not really about the tree. 

It’s about God. 

It’s about our faith and trust in Him.

Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor

To read more of Michael’s writing, check out his daily blog, Forward Progress: http://michaelkelley.co/


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