4 - Paradise Lost
January 4 - Nº 4 Genesis 3:14-24
When God created beauty and order out of darkness and chaos (see #1 – January 1), He challenged Satan’s authority and set the stage for the greatest drama ever to play out in history. His intervention on the planet demanded an answer to the question: Who has the right to rule on this planet—is it Satan or is it God? Satan has always brought his best acting skills to the stage hoping to prove that he has the power and the right to rule. He chooses from three well-rehearsed scenes—each designed to convince his audience to question God’s love: 1. He appeals to their fleshly desires for something more fulfilling; 2. He attracts them to something more beautiful; 3. He tricks them into believing they deserve something more than God has already provided. These three strategies are mentioned in 1 John 2:16, when John warned believers not to be lured by “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Adam and Eve became Satan’s first victims. He used all three strategies to lure them into questioning God’s love. They fell for Satan’s lies and turned their backs on God, who had given them life and everything they could possibly need. The consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience rocked the whole universe— especially the planet they were responsible for guarding and maintaining: 1. The serpent, once a beautiful creature, became one of the lowliest and most despised. 2. Satan, who wanted to rule the planet, was informed that he was doomed. 3. Eve was told that the joy of bearing and raising children would forever be accompanied by pain, and her marriage would be complicated by egos and authority. 4. Adam discovered that his role as caretaker would become very difficult due to deteriorating physical conditions. Adam and Eve were driven out of the beautiful Paradise God had created for them to enjoy. They now lived in a world filled with sin. As they left the Garden, God made clothing for them out of skins. The guilt that accompanied their sin and caused Adam and Eve to hide in shame was now removed, but it had cost the life of an animal. Mercifully God wanted to protect Adam and Eve from living forever in this fallen world, so He prevented any access to the Tree of Life. Physical death would one day allow them to enter eternal life with Him, since they had been willing to accept His covering for their sin. The shed blood of animals would continue to lead to redemption until God sent His own Son as the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. As God promised in verse 15, Jesus (the offspring of the woman) would one day crush the head of the serpent (Satan) when God raised Him victoriously from the dead. One day God will prove that He alone has the right to rule on the planet we call Earth!
Which of Satan’s 3 strategies are you most vulnerable to? Do you think you would be happier if God had made you look different or given you better things? Do you think you deserve more recognition for your accomplishments? We must not let Satan trick us into thinking God doesn’t love us! We must get to know God well enough to trust Him.