Many of us are unaware, that what took place between Eve and the serpent, that fateful day, was not just a conversation; but also a confrontation. ‘He said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’1
The baffling question is, how will God say a thing and the serpent (a mere creation of God) come around and say it is not so? Let us look at it this way: a father, in the absence of his first son, instructs his children not to go out until he returns; then the first son comes around and asks: ‘why are you all indoors?’ ‘Daddy said we shouldn’t go out’, they chorus. Then he says, ‘why will dad tell you that! Don’t mind him, you guys can go out!’ Without hesitation, he flings the door open and gives the younger ones a leeway! Though the father is away, that action in itself is an affront to his person and authority. That act challenges the dad’s position as the superintendent over that small constituency. This is a similitude of what transpired in the Garden of Eden.
‘Hath God said?’ was the serpent’s question; and as soon as Eve ended her exegesis, he blurts out, ‘ye shall not surely die!’ Who should know better, God or the serpent? Indeed, Adam and Eve should have known better. What they did not know was that, by responding to the devil rather than upholding God’s word, they simply took sides with the devil. The devil was the first, in all of creation to confront God’s authority, winning a third of the angels in the process. By abandoning God’s instruction for the opinion of a stranger, the first couple, by implication were challenging God’s wisdom. They allowed the devil win them over to his side.
Down the years, men have continued to pitch their tent with the enemy and oppose the Lord. Scripture says, ‘whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning’2. By choosing to live habitually and continuously in sin, we take sides against our maker, our source and our sustainer. The truth is nothing breaks God’s heart as much as this – that the crown of His creation, the paradigm of His excellence, the epitome of His wisdom: mankind, will choose to contrive with the opposition to challenge His sovereign authority and pleasure.
Nevertheless, every day He still hopes people can switch allegiance from the camp of the old serpent to His. So He continuously asks, ‘who is on the Lord’s side?’ ‘Who wants to be on the Lord’s side?’ You know, after that event, His desire has always been that men will rise up and look the devil straight in the eye and say: ‘get lost! We have stayed too long with you; it is time to make progress; it is time to move on; it is time to join forces with the real guy. It is time to arise and march to the Lord’s side.’3
He has made the provision that makes that easy. ‘For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.’4 All we need to do is believe! He sent His son to deal with the power of sin and all the works of the devil. What we must ask ourselves, is if we are already on the Lord’s side. If not, do we desire to be on the lord’s side? Surely, we can tarry no more. Everyone can accept His provision by a simple expression of faith through humble supplication. He has been waiting and He is still waiting.
1 Genesis 3:1b-5, the authorized King James version of the holy bible
2 1 John 3:8a, the English standard version of the holy bible
3 Matthew 11:28-30
4 1 John 3:8b, the authorized King James version of the holy bible
Ogaga Eruteya is passionate about serving God and humanity. He believes people ought to be the best God wants them to be. He writes from Oyo, Nigeria.