Temptation

Serpent IV ~ By Birgit Whelan

It all begins in this place of beauty, in Eden.

I can only wonder at such beauty – God speaks, creation flourishing at His Word.

Perhaps its truest beauty though, is not what Eden reveals of God’s hand, but what it reveals of intimacy with Him. What would it have been to walk in the cool of the day, at His side? Union with Him, that is still untainted and unbroken. Union with Him, that is our source, and our wellspring, and our deepest satisfaction.

But we know how the story goes. The enemy of our souls enters in, serpentine. Bent as he is on destroying all that is good and beautiful and life-giving, he comes, with his cunning, and his questions, and his casting of doubt on the nature of the only One who is truly good.

And doesn’t he come in the same way to us? His question as old as Eve: did God really say?

The real temptation was never ultimately about the fruit of the tree. It was after all, fruit that was good for food.

The real temptation is always one of trust. Who is this God of ours? Is He truly good? Is He truly able? Is my hope, my life, surer in His hands, or in my own?

It was doubt the serpent brought first, and later, a playing on the delights of the apple.

Once doubt in God has taken hold, it takes very little to sell the delights of the apple.

And so with doubt, came defiance, and with defiance, death. It was as God had said it would be. And why does this so often escape me? – in everything, it is always as God says it will be.

It was the severing of Eden intimacy with God that I think about. To have known Him, enjoyed Him, and flourished in His presence, and then for all that to be torn apart, in the moment of a choice.

But what grace we know in Jesus. The Second Adam, tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Who sympathises with our weakness. Who has taken our broken choices, our sin, upon Himself, and made a way back for us, to this Eden intimacy with the Father. That we might know Him, enjoy Him, and flourish in His presence again, through Christ.

Where we have fallen, there is mercy, and grace, and a God who will bring beauty from ashes.

And where temptation is before us, may we choose to trust God. It is always as He says it will be.

‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly’ ~ John 10:10.

Writing and Photo by Birgit Whelan © Copyright 2013.  

 
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~ by Birgit on April 3, 2013.

 
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