July 14, 1999

"Did God really say...?"
___bluebullGenesis 3:1
___"Did God really say?" is the great question of the ages. We should not think only of Satan's encounter with Eve when we hear this question, but our encounter with God's word and the importance of obeying God. This question has been asked at work, at church, in business, in sports, at tax time, in marriage and in politics. Am I the final authority? When God speaks, may I alter his words? Do some circumstances allow for "creative
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Conroe

questionsinterpretations" of truth?
___Years ago, I watched as a father and son bought tickets for a movie. "One adult and one child," commanded the father as he pushed his money toward the young lady in the booth. A sign indicated that children older than 11 must pay full price.
___"But dad, I'm 12," spoke the little fellow, obviously proud of his age.
___The young lady looked up at the father.
___"I said one adult and one child," he repeated.
___The ticket taker hesitated. The boy's eyes pleaded to be recognized as a young man. Time stood still as those in the line watched the drama unfold before them. The boy's dad would not be moved.
___"One adult and one child," his staccato words demanded. Tickets in hand, father and son opened the large double doors with bright brass handles. As the cool air and the smell of popcorn greeted them, I heard the boy whisper one last time as he looked up at his father, "Dad, I'm 12," and then they disappeared into the darkness.
___When we read the story of human failure in Genesis, we see obvious contrasts. Notice the difference between truth and distortion. Satan does not attack God. Instead, his questions distort God's word. The Creator has always been good to Adam and Eve, yet in the quiet beauty of the garden the Evil One whispers: "Does God really meet all your needs? Is God faithful in every way?" Humanity wonders for the first time if God is trustworthy, not because God is maligned, but because God's word is manipulated.
___Next is the contrast between that which is perfect (God's wisdom) and that which is imperfect (human reason). We see dimly. God sees clearly. We understand partially. God understands fully. We see today. God sees yesterday, today and forever. We are weak. God is strong. How foolish were Adam and Eve to discard their perfect for the imperfect. How foolish of their children (you and I) to do the same.
___Finally, notice the contrast between Satan's promises and Satan's provisions. Something went tragically wrong in an earthly paradise because humanity was quick to believe hellish lies. Satan often promises that which only God can provide. "You will not die. You will be as wise as God, himself." The fruit was eaten. Suddenly, the poison of Satan's lies strikes at the souls of Adam and Eve. They are not wise. They are mortally wounded and naked. What they have learned is that they have been foolish.
___I have not seen the father and son I saw at the movie theater since our encounter over 20 years ago. Rarely a month goes by, however, that I do not think of them, trapped in time, and over and over again hear whispered in that moment, "Did God really say?"
___How are you answering the question?


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