Thursday, January 19, 2006

Of Such a Mind To...

Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make {one} wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Who has not read this passage and felt the question begin to tug at his mind, “Why did Adam and Eve do it?” How could these two perfect people do something so bluntly foolish? Perhaps the gracious reader has even gone so far as to imagine that, should he or she have been standing there in the garden, the disaster of humanity would have been surely averted. What simpletons Adam and Eve must have been! What depths of ignorance they must have swum about in to so blindly eat of the forbidden! Yet, pause for a moment and consider…

Adam and Eve, as they stood before that tree, were as yet un-fallen. In complete perfection, and with unhindered use of their minds, they contemplated that fateful meal. What do you suppose went through the mind of Eve as she prepared to take that first bite? Scripture instructs us that she saw the tree to be a delight to the eyes and desirable to make one wise. Consider as well the mind of Adam as he approached Eve, standing there with the remains of what she had already eaten and offering Adam a share as well. What were the thoughts going through his mind? Perhaps he thought that the word of God must have not been meant as he had heard it, for Eve stood there before him alive. Perhaps he thought that if he refrained from the fruit the Lord would strike down Eve, but if he shared in eating the fruit, then surely the Lord would not destroy both of His crowning creations! Their experience with God had shown them His creativity, His power, His love and His kindness – but they had never yet seen His wrath.

A comma, in the English language, is used to indicate a pause in the sentence. Notice the comma between the phrase “and she gave also to her husband with her,” and the phrase, “and he ate.” What volumes could be filled with the thoughts that transpired during the short pause in this verse! Perhaps you, the gracious reader, and I would be shocked to hear the carefully sculpted reasons and justifications concocted by these two. Do you not think that to them, in that moment, the eating of the fruit seemed to be a profitable thing to do? Is it not possible, that in the machinations of their soon-to-fall minds, they composed such arguments as would very nearly convince us to fall again, should we have the opportunity? I assert that the excuse with which Adam and Eve justified the Fall may likely be the most convincing impetus to sin ever to have betrayed a human mind. And this leads me to my point.

No force on earth can lead a man astray as surely and cleverly as his own mind’s work of deception in convincing him that what is wrong is right, that what is naught is substance. No force can claim to be as inescapable either – for where can a man flee where his mind will not be there? What can be done to escape the snare of the mind? How can these mercenary thoughts be taken captive? Be effecting a force stronger still! You may be tempted to object on this point, for I have just stated that our minds are the strongest force for evil on earth, but, as is more likely, you have correctly concluded that there are forces stronger still than what can be found on earth. This force is not some impersonal energy, but is in fact the Living God, manifested in and indwelling the heart of every believer. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God as a sword to discern between the thoughts and intentions of the heart – the inner workings of the mind. With great humility we must subject our minds in earnest to the scouring of the Word. To trust in our own discernment, our own ability to come to truth and excellence, is a woeful impudence. It is a presumption which God neither prescribes nor abides. What may appear in our minds to be a clear, rational and logical course of action often appears to an observer to be as stark a folly as trading the bliss of paradise for a piece of fruit.