REFLECT: So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate: Genesis 3:6
APPLY: Cultural toxins – things that are culturally acceptable, but hurt our spirits – are all around. Pervasive yet insidious, these toxins seep into the spirit, and shape the thoughts of the unwary. The sobering thing is that, though initially jarring, with repeated exposure our sensibilities are gradually numbed, until one day, we are no longer shocked by the extreme or the unacceptable.
These toxins are everywhere – in the day to day events of our lives, in the books and magazines we read, the music we listen to, and the shows and movies that we watch. Do not underestimate the impact of these cultural toxins. The vaccine is to focus – determinedly, unstintingly – on the things of God.
Eve knew fully well what the restriction 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, italics added). Adam and she had their pick of that inconceivably verdant garden, save for that single tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree was unmistakably out of bounds: don’t eat the fruit, don’t touch the tree, don’t even get close – stay away.
This was the incredibly generous setup with which they had been blessed. Their benefactor?: the Creator Lord – the only other ‘Person’ they knew – a loving Father who had been only nurturing, kind and true.
Then up sidles the serpent, possessed by the evil one, sibilantly whispering lies, planting seeds of doubt: did God really say that you can’t enjoy the fruit of that tree? He’s just a spoilsport, scared you will become his equal, so that he won’t be able to boss you around any more (Genesis 3: 4, 5).
The death-monger – tempter, deceiver – knew exactly what weaknesses to exploit in Eve – covetousness, ambition, and most of all doubt – the very flaw that had led to its spectacular downfall (Isaiah 14: 12-17). Tragically Eve chose to believe the stranger, the unknown entity, the harbinger of suspicion and doubt where hitherto had been confidence and trust.
PRAY: Father, Your Word tells me that my eyes are the lamp of my body, and that if my eyes are bad my whole body will be bad (Matthew 6: 22-23). In today’s world – surrounded by cultural toxins – it is challenging to keep my eyes clean. Help me Lord, to be alert and discerning, that I may guard my eyes as I seek to keep my heart pure. Do not let the light of my spirit coarsen or be darkened. Expose every trespassing dark seed with Your light, that I may uproot and cast it away. In Jesus Name, Amen.