God’s Honest Truth
Text: Genesis 3:1-15 Speaker: Pastor Matthew Ude Passages: Genesis 3:1-15
Full Service Video
The Fall (Listen)
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You1 shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,2 she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool3 of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”4 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring5 and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
Many years ago, I got a phone call. The man on the other end of the phone was trying to convince me to buy a vacation package to Florida. It sounded like a good deal. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I kept him on the phone asking questions. Still, I wasn’t sure. I asked him if I could call him back tomorrow. He said no. I asked if he could call me back tomorrow. He said no. I was probably on the phone with him for an hour. Finally, I said that I wasn’t going to commit to something without a chance to sleep on it. The fact that he was trying to force me to make an immediate decision makes me think he wasn’t really being honest.
Not at all salesmen are immoral. Some of them are good people just trying to help you out. But there are many who will say anything to convince you to buy what they are selling.
Satan was and is the world first sleezy salesman. He will say anything to convince you to buy what he is selling.
Our text reminds us that Satan was and still is “more cunning than any beast.”
It is not hard to be more cunning than a cow or a dog, but it is clear from our text that God is implying more than that. He wants us to understand that Satan is far cleverer than we are also.
Paul writes to the Corinthians:
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Satan will say anything to convince us to buy what he is selling. We like to think that as good Christians we will be able to see through his sleezy salesman tactics. Just like we like to think that we can tell the difference between a good deal and bad one when it’s a human salesman. Yet, the truth is that we can’t and we don’t. Satan is very good at selling death.
God is not like Satan. He doesn’t try clever tactics and He never embellishes the truth to make it more appealing. God tells us straight out the honest truth.
Look at the things that God says in our text: “in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” “You will have pain in childbirth.” “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” “You will live by the sweat of your brow.”
Not only does God tell the straight-out honest truth but He doesn’t even attempt to sugar coat it. With God there is no attempt to make it more appealing. God simply and honestly tell us this is the way it is.
Because God tells us the truth His word is often far less appealing than what Satan has to say. Satan promises us as he promised Eve happiness and knowledge and every good thing. God is quite blunt that “in this word you will have sorrow,” and, “you will toil and sweet all your life.”
Six and a half years ago when Vanessa and I were car shopping, we had the choice between two cars. One had a really nice stereo and a full sun roof, and not only heated seats but the seats also had AC built in to the seat. It was a make and model that had terrible reviews when it came to the body and engine. On the other hand, was the choice of a plain car without any bells and whistles but with excellent reviews.
Satan sold Eve a car that had all the bells and whistles but wasn’t going to last even a day. God wants to build something that will last.
Immediately after buying into Satan’s lies the dream car fell apart on Eve. They were ashamed. They were hiding from God. They were lying to and blaming each other.
God’s word is far less appealing than Satan’s but it doesn’t have all the terrible after effects. It doesn’t fall apart as soon as we drive it off the lot.
How do we tell the difference and avoid Satan’s sleezy lies? Paul has given us a good clue in the passage we already read.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
We cannot beat Satan in craftiness. It won’t work. He is far craftier than we are. But Satan cannot beat God when it comes to truth.
“God’s word is truth.”
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
To avoid Satan’s sleezy salesman tactics we can apply the simple honest truth of God.
When it comes to what we speak. Is it something we would happily say directly to that person’s face? If we would be embarrassed if they overheard us, we should not be saying it. Satan makes talking about others seem like a good way to prove how smart and clever I am. When we are honest with ourselves it doesn’t make us smart and clever it makes us mean and base.
James 3:8 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly pois
When it comes to anger towards others. Am I being honest about my sin and confessing my failing, or am I trying to cover up my own failing by insisting it is someone else’s fault? Satan makes blaming others sound so much more appealing. When we are honest with ourselves, we always find at the heart of our anger our own sin.
James 1:20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
When it comes to confession. God calls Adam and Eve out of hiding to openly confess their sins. Satan would convince us that it is so much better to keep hiding our sin. He convinces us that no one will know. The simply honest truth of God’s word asks the question, “Did I sin?” Did I sin against my spouse, my brother, my friend etc. Not did they sin against me or is there sin greater. The question is only did I sin. If I know of a sin that I have done that I ought to confess and ask for forgiveness. If it is a sin against another, I ought to confess to them. If against myself of God, I ought to confess to my pastor. Hiding sounds so much more appealing but hiding sin is like ignoring rust on the car or termites in the house. It will eat away at your relationship with one another and with God.
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another
When Paul speaks of the simple truth that is in Christ Jesus, He is alluding to an even simpler truth than these mentioned above.
After Adam and Eve sinned and bought death from Satan, they regretted it immediately. As soon as they drove it off the lot they realized they had been sold a complete lemon. But what can you do? Satan doesn’t take refunds. Fortunately, God offers to buy it from them. Or rather He offers to buy them back from death.
After Adam and Eve ruin their lives listening to Satan’s lies God promises:
Genesis 3:15 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
He promises to send a Savior who will deliver us from death and restore to us the eternal life that God always meant for us to have. His promises bring us back to the tree of life which Adam and Eve lost.
This is the simple truth which Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 11:15. The simple truth that despite our great sin we can live forever with Him through Jesus Christ.
This is another simple truth that Satan would love to take from us with all kinds of lies. He would love nothing more than to get us to believe that we don’t need Jesus. He will tell us we already know all about that. He will make us think it is something for kids. He will pretend that there is no hell and that God wouldn’t really condemn us.
All of Satan’s craftiness cannot change the simple truth that God has promised us life through his son Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the simple honest truth of God. Amen.