We hear the serpent asking Eve the above question in the garden before the fall of man.
“Now 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’? (Genesis 3:1 NIV84).”
And we know how that conversation ended up, don’t we?!?
Now, my life experience has been that whatever proves effective for the enemy, he will keep doing until I cast it down as prescribed in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
The “Did God really say” question proved very effective for satan with Eve in the garden. Once she allowed that seed of deception to settle in her mind, the enemy then challenged Eve’s thoughts by implying, “and if He did what kind of God is that?” The next thing we know, Eve is eating the forbidden fruit and giving some to Adam. Yep, that fiery dart landed…bull’s eye!
The world’s message today of “everything is relative” is one of satan’s fiery darts that continues to ask man the question “Did God really say?” We see this teaching proven out in the self-indulgence and self-exaltation of today’s world. It allows me to know that the enemy’s attack of “Did God really say” is still very effective.
On yesterday, we studied Isaiah in the Temple beholding the beauty and holiness of God in Sunday School. Isaiah dated this experience by the year Kind Uzziah died. You can find King Uzziah’s story at this link but the short and quick is a king who started well and finished poorly. Uzziah began as a godly king at the age of 16 and ruled for 52 years. He began his reign by “doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord” and fortifying the city of Jerusalem. The king became very powerful with a well-trained army. As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God gave him success.
The blessings and gifts of God caused him to become prideful and unfaithful to the Lord. Uzziah knew that the priesthood was given to Aaron and his descendants and that this included the burning of incense at the altar.
When self takes over, pride settles in and we become unfaithful to God. We bow to self and believe our knowledge and wisdom is greater than God’s. Surely, God didn’t mean the king couldn’t burn incense. In other words, Uzziah’s pride caused him to view the law of God as relative. I mean afterall, he was the king and surely he could do as he pleased at this given time instead of what God had said.
Even after the priests warned him of his unfaithfulness, Uzziah pressed on to burn the incense and while he was raging at the priests in the Lord’s temple, leprosy broke on his forehead. He had leprosy until the day he died which means he was separated from the temple and the people. I’ll let you read it in its completeness but surely we should heed the warning.
“Did God really say?” Yes, He did. When tempted to fall backward into a mindset of relativism Uzziah’s response should have been, “Yes, God did say and His commands are not burdensome or grievous. I am absolutely so blessed that He is my God. All His ways are perfect.”
The temptation to sin, the bondage of pride, the desire for self-gratification and self-exaltation, the enemy’s fiery darts are no less for us as believers today than it was for a godly king named Uzziah. May the Lord strength us to stand in faith and preach to ourselves, the enemy, and a world system that stands against the Lord and His righteousness and respond to “Did God really say” with “Yes, He did” in love and with gentleness and kindness.
- And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35
- For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
- All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17