“Kill the snake of doubt in your soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart and mountains will move out of your way.”
– Kate Seedy
The Bible… fact or fiction? I’ve heard the counterarguments…
“Its been translated too many times.”
“God didn’t write that.”
“Science is accurate. The Bible isn’t. How in the world could the Earth be created in 7 days.”
“Talking snakes???! Please.”
“I don’t want to serve a God that created evil.”… so on and so forth.
And trust me. I get all that. Been there. Done that. But the truest answers to these questions can found by stepping away from viewing things with a literal point of view and view this in a more metaphorical perspective. Because honestly, discussing whether God created the Earth in seven actual days is irrelevant compared to the messages the Bible contains.
The Bible contains a multitude of songs, poems, and stories. It’s literally art… but it’s practical art. And art is also part of history. So let’s take this art and look at it from another point of view.
Now we all know the story of Genesis. God created the heavens, the Earth, woman, and man. God told Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the woman, Eve, was deceived by a serpent in the garden. Consequently, Eve gave the fruit she was told not to eat to her husband, Adam, and the world took a downward spiral and was introduced to sin.
Before we get into this, I want to point something out. The serpent. Many people ask, why would God even allow the serpent to live in the garden with Adam and Eve? Why would a “loving God” and an “all knowing God” allow his creation to fall?
Well, that requires addressing a couple of things. The first is the existence of choice.
After God gave man dominion over the world in Genesis, he gave man directions. God told man what fruit to eat and which fruit he should not. He gave man free thought. God also allowed man to choose names for the animals. This allowed man to exercise choice. Man was given DIRECTIONS as to what not to eat but was also able to choose what he would eat, what names the animals would have, etc. Therefore, choice existed before man acquired knowledge of good and evil. But as with anything, to have choice, you must be presented with options. Without choice, obedience is lacking and forced.
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17
Although God gave Adam and Eve directions, the parties both failed to obey these direction. But why? Why would someone choose to do wrong when GOD has told them what they shouldn’t do?
The answer is two-fold: (1) doubt and (2) self righteousness.
In the Garden of Eden, God gave the directions to Adam. God is the original source of the instructions. Adam is the secondary source. Likewise, God is the original source of instruction and the Bible is our secondary source. The Bible contains the instructions for how man should act in Eden, or the “Earth”. Eve had not yet been created when God issued his instructions. She was not formed until Genesis 2:22
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
The Bible does not tell us whether Adam conveyed the instructions to Eve, but when confronted by the serpent Eve tells him that God said not to EAT or TOUCH the fruit or die. However, this was untrue. When God issued directions to Adam, he said simply not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17
Did God give more restrictive instructions to Eve? This is doubtful. When Eve told the serpent the instructions given to her, she stated that God said that “WE” cannot eat or touch the fruit. She did not include herself only. Therefore, it is very likely that God did not make a more restrictive measure for the woman.
So how did Eve hear the instructions? Was it from Adam? Or was it from God??
The Bible is unclear here. And I believe it is for a just reason. We, males and females alike, are much like Eve. And have two ways to receive God’s instructions. Sometimes we hear it (1) from Adam or (2) from God. Although the Bible can be personified as Adam, it can the God filled people who came before us. Adam is symbolic of those who know God personally. Those who have heard his voice. And even though someone can tell us what God says, we still can end up doubting God’s authenticity. When we don’t hear things “from the horse’s mouth” we doubt them. Likewise, over time and through translation, the message becomes distorted. Here, the Eve did not state the instructions verbatim. I believe God wants us to know that sometimes the messages given to us don’t remain 100% accurate. But the added instructions may serve as added protection. Eve could have lived even if she touched the fruit, but had she not touched the fruit, she would have not even reached the point of sin. Additionally, we do have access to God and the ability to discern what is God’s word.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5
Even those who have not heard God’s word have access to it. This is what some people may call “natural moral law”.
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)
The second way Eve may have heard God was from God himself. Sometimes we rebel against God. We know what God’s word says but chose to disobey. And again, we must ask why.
This is where self righteousness and self exhalation comes into play.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”
– Genesis 3:1-4
Doubt creeps in like a snake. Satan and sin enters our lives through doubt. By doubting Adam (the content of the Bible), we often choose sin. By doubting God, we most definitely choose sin. How many Bible critics do you know that base their arguments in “We’ll if God really said that, he’d tell me himself” or “I don’t think the Bible is real because man wrote it”….. Well… ok, Eve.
But seriously, that’s a tactic of the serpent, Satan. God is placing us in Eden right now. Adam (the Bible and followers of Christ) can tell us what God’s directions are or God can show us. But ultimately, we decide if we take the fruit. So many of us are deceived by the serpent and don’t even know it. And I am in no way telling you to blindly “follow some book”. But if you seek Christ, you will find Christ.
So, faith comes from listening, but it’s listening by means of Christ’s message.
The serpent told Eve that she would be like God. Many of us are falling prey to the “god complex”. We’re not God. Can’t be God. and won’t be God. But we are godlike because we are made in his image.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
And here Jesus speaks about followers of Christ.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. – John 14:12
So keep in mind that Jesus turned water into wine, fed a multitude with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread, casted out demons, healed the sick, etc. So if Jesus did all of this, believers of Christ will do much more. So don’t confuse the power given to you by God for self granted authority.
Furthermore, this shows us that humans think their way is better than God’s way. This is the original sin. The belief that you know better than God. Many people question why a gracious God would allow world wars, hurricanes, slavery, etc. Why would God allow children to be raped or his people to be persecuted. And to put it plainly, I can’t answer that for you. But a visit to the Book of Job can help. In the Book of Job, Job, a follower of Christ lost everything he had. He caught diseases, lost his children, and his fortune… and God ALLOWED it. He was a devout follower of Christ and hadn’t sinned against God and everyone, even his friends, thought that he did something to “deserve” all the bad things that were happening to him. The whole time, Job stood on God’s word. BUT when Job decided that protesting his innocence was more important than God’s sovereignty, God had to show up to put Job in his place.
Then the Lord spoke to Job from a whirlwind and said,
2 “Who is this ignorant person
saying these foolish things?[a]
3 Prepare yourself for an attack!
Get ready to answer the questions I will ask you.
4 “Where were you when I made the earth?
If you are so smart, answer me.
5 And who decided how big the earth should be?
Who measured it with a measuring line?
6 What is the earth resting on?
Who put the first stone in its place
7 when the morning stars sang together
and the angels[b] shouted with joy?
8 “Who closed the flood gates
as the sea gushed from the womb?
9 Who covered it with clouds
and wrapped it in darkness?
10 I set the limits for the sea
and put it behind locked gates.
11 I said to the sea, ‘You can come this far, but no farther.
This is where your proud waves will stop.’
12 “Did you ever in your life command the morning to begin
or the day to dawn?
13 Did you ever tell the morning light to grab the earth
and shake those who are evil out of their hiding places?
14 The morning light makes the hills
and valleys easy to see.
When the daylight comes to the earth,
the shapes of these places stand out like the folds of a coat.
They take shape like soft clay
that is pressed with a stamp.
15 Evil people don’t like the daylight.
When it shines bright, it keeps them from doing the bad things they do.
16 “Have you ever gone to the deepest parts of the sea?
Have you ever walked on the ocean bottom?
17 Has anyone shown you the gates to the world of the dead?
Have you ever seen those gates that lead to the dark place of death?
18 Do you really understand how big the earth is?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “Where does light come from?
Where does darkness come from?
20 Can you take them back to where they belong?
Do you know how to get there?
21 Surely you know these things, since you are so old and wise.
You were alive when I made them, weren’t you?[c]
Well, I don’t know about you… but I can’t answer those questions. No one can. Simply put, we ain’t got the answers Sway. We don’t know why God has allowed things to happen. In Job’s case, it was to test his faith. But sometimes the answer may not be as clear. But when we questions God’s reasoning for doing things, we show how foolish we are.
You are only a human being. Who do you think you are to talk back to God? Does the clay say to the potter, “Why did you make me like this?”[a] -Romans 9:20
3 They don’t submit to God’s righteousness because they don’t understand his righteousness, and they try to establish their own righteousness. 4 Christ is the goal of the Law, which leads to righteousness for all who have faith in God. – Romans
To believe in God means accepting God’s sovereignty. Do you know what’s best for man or does God? Adam and Eve rejected God’s sovereignty. And they paid the price for it.
And the LORD God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Genesis 3:22
You can decide that you know better than God. But God has shown us that result with Adam and Eve…. And we see the continued result as time progresses. A garden is a place where crops are cultivated. There’s an ecosystem at work in a garden. Likewise, there’s a system at work on Earth. Sometimes a crop suffers due to how other people have tended to their crops. Insects destroy neighboring crops. One crop may catch a disease from another. But God gave us dominion over Eden and we can help get the garden in order.
God wants you to do the right thing…
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. – John 15:16
With obedience comes great reward. God wants us to see the fruits of our labor. But will you be like your ancestors?
Peace. Love. & Protection,