“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:4-5)
In the very beginning, God created the world. In six days, He created the universe and everything in it and put the first two humans, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, where He instructed them to care for the land. They could eat any of the plants and fruits they wanted, except from the tree in the middle of the garden. That, God warned them, was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate of it, they would die on that very day.
For a while, Adam and Eve were content. Why did they need the fruit from that tree, anyway? They had plenty of other food. But then one day, Satan himself came to the garden in the form of a serpent. He spoke to Eve as a friend, offering her a great gift. “Eat that fruit,” he urged. “If you do, you’ll be like God. You’ll even know the difference between good and evil. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
Eve did just what the devil suggested. She ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, too. In that very instant, their perfect relationship with God was broken forever. They had done exactly what He had told them not to do—they had sinned. They had listened to the devil’s lies instead of God’s truth.
The disturbing thing, however, is that the devil never actually lied. Everything he told Eve was true. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit and disobeyed God, they didn’t die physically, which is probably what they had expected. In Genesis 3:7, the Bible says that “the eyes of both were opened” after they ate the fruit. And they did indeed know the difference between good and evil. But it wasn’t what they had wanted. They died spiritually that day, becoming separated from God. Satan told them the truth, but he presented the negative consequences of their actions in a positive light. He only told half the truth, and thus deceived them.
The devil’s tactics haven’t changed over the years. He still “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) His mission in life is to deceive us, to keep us from coming to God. In John 8:44, he is called the father of lies. The best lies are those which are closest to the truth, those that really are truths but have been twisted into something completely different. That is why we must know for certain what the truth really is. We must believe that God knows what He’s talking about, and that He’s taught us how to live in His Word, the Bible. Satan knows the truth, and he also knows how to twist it into a lie. It is so incredibly important that we know God’s Word and are able to identify real truth. The devil is doing all he can to deceive us; but if we trust God’s Word, it will never work.