Doubt and Disobedience
"[The serpent] said to the woman, 'Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?'" (v. 1)
We continue discussing the point that unless we have a strong conviction that God is entirely trustworthy, we will not desire a deep and ongoing relationship with Him. Yesterday we spoke of the distance from God our souls experience when we entertain doubts about His goodness. Do you realize that the reason for the distance between God and the first human couple in the Garden of Eden
was doubt about God's goodness? Doubt about God soon leads to dislike of God, and dislike of God soon leads to disobedience. When Eve responded to the Tempter's insinuation that God did not have her best interests at heart (by withholding something from her), the doubt she entertained soon led to dislike of God, and then it was relatively easy to take the next step and disobey Him. The moment her doubt about God's goodness expressed itself in taking the forbidden fruit, the foundation on which her relationship with God was established -- trust -- crumbled beneath her feet. Adam rapidly followed her in committing the same kind of sin (doubt about God's goodness) and then, inevitably, distance replaced closeness. Since the Fall, every child born into this world has within its nature a basic distrust of God. Paul puts it like this: "The sinful mind is hostile to God" (Rom. 8:7). The word hostility can be translated "enmity." No one trusts someone they regard as an enemy. Distance between humankind and God arose when the first human couple doubted His goodness. Closeness between human beings and God comes when we have confidence in His goodness. As we said yesterday, no confidence -- no relationship.
O God my Father, help me have an unshakable confidence in Your character so that no doubts prompted by the devil will ever penetrate my soul. I want no distance between us, but an ever growing closeness. Grant it, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What do the people of God celebrate?
2. What did the psalmist say to the Lord?