Long ago, when Humankind lived in harmony with God, nature, each other, and themselves, Satan approached Eve with a simple question: Did God really say you shouldn’t eat from every tree in the garden?
It was a question that opened up a discussion in which Satan essentially called God a liar. What’s worse, Eve bought it. Maybe not the lying part, but she may have thought Adam got it wrong–after all, she hadn’t been created yet when God told Adam to stay away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Or perhaps she thought they were misinterpreting God’s intentions. Surely, a good God wouldn’t want to withhold something so pleasing to the eye, so able to impart wisdom.
From the moment Eve ate, men and women have been dealing with this question: did God really say …
Did God really say Abraham would be the father of nations? Did God really say David was to be King? Did God really say the people of Israel should not worship idols? Did God really say Jesus is His Son?
On and on the questions go. Today they present as a challenge to the Bible. Has God really inspired the Bible? Surly the Old Testament is little more than a collection of myths and was never meant to be a presentation of historical fact or supernatural revelation. After all, would a loving God really command genocide?
The pattern is the same as the one Satan used with Eve: We know God is X, so we can conclude that He would never do Y, no matter what He said (or you thought He said), no matter what the prophets said, no matter what the Bible said.
There is, of course, the Adamic answer to Satan’s question: Yes, God said so, but I don’t care.
King Saul responded that way: Yes, David is ordained by God to take the throne, but I don’t care. I’m still going to try to kill him.
Saul was pitting himself against God, not David. He wasn’t confused about what Samuel had said when he delivered the message that God had rejected Saul and would replace him with a king after His own heart. He quickly spotted David as the one God blessed at every turn. Instead of repenting or even stepping down, Saul fought to the bitter end to retain his throne, no matter what God said.
People today respond in the same way. Yes, I understand that God has said Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but I choose to find my own way, my own truth, and to rule my own life.
Deceived like Eve or rebellious like Adam, our response depends on what we do with the question, Has God said … ? Of course we could simply trust God to be true, believe what He says, and do as He asks. Now there’s a novel idea.