“Has God Indeed Said. . . ?”
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" (Genesis 3:1)
A story has been told about the comedian, W. C. Fields, who was found paging through the Bible one day. When asked what he was doing, he reportedly answered, “Looking for loopholes.”
I think the devil has been reading the Bible for a long time, and he has been looking for loopholes. He will misquote the Bible. He will mischaracterize it. He will distort it. And that is what cults do. They will take Scripture and mix in certain elements of truth with enough error to destroy a person spiritually.
When the devil tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, he twisted God’s words. He twisted the positive invitation from God to eat from every tree, with only one exception. He turned it into a negative prohibition that was designed to cast doubt on God’s goodness.
The devil’s first words to Eve ended in a question mark, intended to cause her to doubt God’s love: “Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" (Genesis 3:1).
Notice that he was quoting God, but he completely twisted what He had said. God’s original statement to Adam was, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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).
The devil did not deny that God had spoken. He simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought he had said. Then he questioned God’s love. He wanted to suggest that God was holding something back. Finally, he substituted his own lie.
Eve had a choice. She could either believe what he was saying, or she could reject it. And we have that choice as well.
Summary sentence: You have a choice like Eve!