Did God Really Say … ?

Adam_and_Eve019Long 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. 😉

This post is an edited version of one that first appeared here in January 2013.

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Published in: on July 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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  1. Hi again Rebecca, can I please just elaborate on your comment:

    “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.”

    The idea that “people” (I assume you mean unbelievers in this context) understand what God has said is a long way off the mark. I know people who believe in God but do not believe most of what the bible says. I have heard them say that the Bible is too far-fetched and altered so many times through history to be believed, however they are convinced a god like deity exists. Unbelievers or atheists on the other hand do not choose to find their own way, it is theists like yourself who choose to go their own way, to have faith in a deity and live a subservient life to whatever God they choose and in whatever form they like.

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    • Steve, you’re just illustrating my point. Many people do exactly what Eve did—they find excuses to call God’s words, His very existence into question. And many people do exactly what Adam did—they understand what God has said, but they don’t care; they freely admit that they don’t want someone telling them what to do.

      I’m surprised that you think Christians choose our own way, as if living the Christian life is easy. It’s much easier to desire revenge than it is to love an enemy. It’s easier to be selfish than to think more highly of others than of ourselves. It’s easier to accumulate stuff than it is to give to others. It’s easier to worry than it is to cast our anxieties on Jesus. And on and on. The Christian is always learning and repenting and growing and not sitting back “going our own way.”

      Becky

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      • Thanks for your reply. Yes, I agree many of the people calling themselves Christians who believe in God do understand what God has said and do not believe the Bible and as you say, “they freely admit that they don’t want someone telling them what to do.” Of course, atheists do not believe that God said anything as he is non-existent.

        Christians obviously do choose to become Christians and choose the way of life they think he wants them to live. Atheists do not need a god to love an enemy or to think more highly of others than of themselves and give to others. Atheists shoulder their own responsibilities through life and do not need a person within their minds to control anxieties. Atheists are also learning but do not have to repent in fear of going to hell.

        Think about it for a second, if the major religions did not have the motivational concepts such as heaven and hell would there be any worshippers?

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