A family friend stopped by the house last week, and their young grandchild accompanied them. After asking my son, I offered the little boy one of his prized toys to play with. The only requirement was that the pirate ship was off limits. My son has arranged each piece to look like an action scene. It’s off limits, and I let the child know that he could play with any other toy. “Which one would you like?” I asked him. He said, “I’d like to play with that one.” Of course, he was pointing to the pirate ship! An entire cabinet of exciting toys, and he wanted the only one that he was told was off limits!
You may remember a couple of Bible characters, Adam and Eve, who had the same problem. After all, the garden was full of good food and they were allowed to eat from any plant – except for that tree.
Genesis 2:9, 15-17,
9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “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.”
Adam and Eve were surrounded by blessings. The trees were pleasing to the eye and good for food. They had so much from which to choose, and only one tree that was forbidden. Which do you think they wanted? Exactly, they shifted their focus from the many, many beautiful, tasty plants and focused on the one that was forbidden.
In sports speak, they had taken their eye off the ball. It’s dangerous territory to examine what you don’t have and lose sight of how God has blessed you. The crafty serpent recognizes this opportunity.
Keep your eye on the ball & be blessed. The forbidden may or may not taste delicious in the moment, but it brings certain death. Be on guard for the crafty serpent’s lies and look around – there is a lot of good fruit in the zone that God has given to you. Keep your eye on the blessings & be blessed.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:8
Dear God, help us to open our eyes and look around at the blessings you have given us. May we see Your blessings and be thankful. Keep our mind on our Creator and keep the crafty serpent at bay. Amen