Series: The Mind of God
Message: What Was He Thinking?
Preacher: Mark Johnson
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 31:9-18.
Read: Hebrews 1:1-3 - Read the Message paraphrase, and note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: The first time we see the serpent in the Bible, it is in the Garden of Eden. The story in itself is rather straightforward and simple:
“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, “You 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,[b] 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.” Genesis 3:1-7 (ESV)
The story is simple, but it is accusatory toward God, and very thought-provoking. Clearly, at the time Adam and Eve were created, God already had an enemy. The enemy is here called “the serpent,” but it appears to have an intelligence behind it that is more than just reptilian. And the serpent makes two critical charges against God and His character. The first charge is that God has lied to Adam and Eve. He cannot be trusted. The second charge is that God is keeping something good away from them. They could be as powerful as God, but God is not allowing it. God does not have their best interests in His plans for them.
Jesus gave us a clue as to who was behind the temptation of Adam and Eve when He said, in John 8:44 that the devil was a liar from the beginning, and is the father of lies. Once again, the questions seem to jump out at us, “What was He thinking when He created the devil? What was He thinking when He created Adam and Eve? What was He thinking?”
Respond: Pray for integrity.
Research: What are the issues being contested in the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan?