If you are like me, you are probably not a great fan of salesmen. They have a way of convincing you to buy things that you do not need. They are well-trained experts, who use polished scripts to change your perception about their product or service. Truth be told, there are many things that we would have never bought, had we not had a chance to speak to the salesmen. Often times, we give in to the sales pitch. Before we know it we have willingly bought something we never intended to buy in the first place. Afterwards, we regret making that impulse decision. Sometimes we even get to a point where we are scared of checking our bank balance. The sad part is, it’s up to us to balance our finaces. It is in those moments that you realize that the salesmen who pushed you into making the purchase is nowhere to be found! You face the financial consequences by yourself.
It took me a while to learn to say no to sales pitches. It took me even longer to realise that we do not only need to master resisting physical sales pitches but also spiritual ones. The very same way that the sales reps work is the same way Satan works. And without realizing it, we allow him to sell his ideas to us.
A little bit about Satan…
It’s no secret that the devil is a liar; We have heard it many times. John 8:44 tells us that his native language is lies (not English, Shona nor Spanish)! He is a liar and the father of lies. Considering we all know he is the father of lies, it leaves us wondering why the majority of us often fall into his traps. Shouldn’t it be easy to recognize lies and resist temptations?
Genesis 3 reveals to us one very good reason why we fall into the traps of the enemy. IThis chapter reveals a truth that we need to use everyday. Without understanding it, we are doomed. The story of temptation teaches us that besides being a liar, Satan is a deceiver. What does this mean? And how different is it from being a liar?
Lies vs Deceit
Lies are simple- they are not truths. With lies, it’s as simple as someone telling you 1+1=3. But deceit is more complex. Deceit can be done with or without lies. And without lies, it’s not easy to notice when you are being deceived. Here is asimple example, Jill can tell you that John threatened to kill him. This might be 100% true. With such limited information, John is painted as the bad guy. But if Jill does not also tell that John only made the threat after he(Jill) raped John’s daughter, held him and his family hostage and threatened to kill them then Jill has deceived you.
One can deceive with or without lying as long as the objective to be mislead is met. A deceiver makes you believe in the wrong things. He/she misleads, betrays and plays.
Genesis 3:1-5 The Fall
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to thewoman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The liar used a different tactic…
In Genesis 3, the devil did not come to Eve with a bunch of lies. In one of his statements, Satan told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit, her eyes would be opened. In his exact words he said, “ God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened,…
This statement was 100% true. God is an all knowing-God. So the effects of eating the forbidden fruit were no secret to him. Gen 3:7 confirms that after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened for real.
Satan continued to say“…, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”And this was also 100% true. Gen 3:22 says,”22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God acknowledged that they became like oneof them, knowing good and evil.
Satan also told Eve that if they ate of the fruit tree that was in the middle of the garden they would not die. If this statement was taken literally, could it be true? Could Satan have defended himself by pointing out that after eating the fruit, none of them would physically die right away?
But what the enemy did not also mention, is what was more important. He came and presented his “sales pitch” so he could DECEIVE Adam and Eve into disobeying God. He did not tell them that after eating the forbidden fruit they would be become dead men walking! He did not tell them that even though they’d still be would die instantly and they would no longer be in the presence of God. What he didn’t tell them is that in addition to spiritual death, physical death would eventually come and there was no way they could escape it. What Satan didn’t tell them was that, with the power of knowing what is good and bad, their innocence will be gone and they would realize their nakedness. He didn’t tell them they’d have to find ways to cover their nakedness. He didn’t tell them that, their good life would come to an end. Neither did he tell them they’d be thrown away from God’s presence. Nothing was mentioned about the punishment that’d come as a result of sin. What the enemy didn’t tell them is that even though they had become like God, they would not be God.
Satan deceived these two. And he successfully achieved his goal by manipulating the truth. He spoke about 80% of God’s words and added only about 20% of lies.
In Genesis3:5, Satan does not lie by what he says; it is what is left unsaid that deceives. He understands the human condition– and the weaknesses of the human spirit– quite well. His temptation was a mission to change Eve’s trust in God’s goodness. He succeeded in getting Eve to question God. And he is still doing the same to us today. Today I want to remind you that our adversary is a master of deception. We ought to be aware of God’s truths, so we can discern Satan voice from God’s voice.