The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 52 of 181
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To discover the lie we need to turn back to the beginning of mankind, to the
temptation in Eden. There we find the lie is threefold:
". . . . . the serpent . . . . . said unto the woman, `Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of
every tree of the garden?' And the woman said unto the serpent, `We may eat of the fruit
of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die'. And the
serpent said unto the woman, `Ye shall not surely die: for God doth known that in the
day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good
and evil'." (Gen. 3: 1-5).
Without considering the distortions of the woman's reply, except to note that to listen
to the lie is already to have received the love of it, and to be influenced by it, let us note
the serpent's words. In verse 1 it would be better to render the words: "Can it be that
God hath said, `Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?".  Surely God is not so
hard-hearted as that! In our day we are more familiar with the same ploy in such terms as
"God is a God of love!", or "Jesus is a kind God". But notice the facts in the previous
chapter (2: 16, 17):
"And the Lord God commanded the man saying, `Of every tree of the garden thou
mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of
it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die'."
Not only did the serpent seek to distort the character of God, to distort the Word of
God, but he also sought to distort man's estimate of himself: "Ye shall be as God".
The Lie consists of a threefold denial of the Truth: the truth about God, the truth of
what God has said, and the truth concerning man. For practical purposes the lie is that
man `is as God': man forms his own opinion of the character of God; man judges the
Word of God; man thinks of himself as answerable only to himself.
In the next study we shall see the outworking of this as outlined by Paul in the first
chapter of the epistle to the Romans--"they received not the love of the truth".