~ Don't Blame Adam or Eve ~
Throughout the centuries, there have been theological discussions about when the fall of Lucifer, as described in Isaiah 14:12, happened. An examination of the text in Ezekiel 28 beginning with verse 11 indicates satan was originally appointed cherub or master guardian angel over the spiritual realm of God's creation. This would explain why he would have access to the perfect Garden of Eden.
Noteworthy also is the fact that God cursed satan and prophesied his ultimate fate only after his successful temptation of Eve. Perhaps Isaiah 14:12 is a spiritual exposition of Genesis 3:15, with satan and his loyal angels taking their fall at the same time as humankind. Nonetheless, satan was given sovereignty in the lower spirit world and humans sovereignty over the earth. Satan continued using humans to extend his sovereignty to the point of meriting the title, "prince of this world."
Satan's tactic in Eden hasn't changed, since we humans fall for it almost every time. We are created in God's likeness and so we are commanded to be holy and Christ-like. Satan enticed Eve with Christ-likeness or Christ-consciousness. Eve went for it, but in doing so she disobeyed God. Disobedience to God is being the opposite of being Christ-like. Adam and Eve's sin was the same as satan's actually: self-exaltation. Who among us are not guilty of that in some way?
Self-exaltation easily contaminates even our prayers. Too often we pray hardest when we are at the end of our own abilities or resources in desperation. We want to be self-sufficient and ask for "help" from God. So if He did "help" us, we would be left with the feeling that "we did it" with a "little help from God." God does not help those who help themselves. God does not want to help us. He wants to possess us fully, for He loves us.
A person may give himself fully to satan and the resources of evil and satan will use him fully and powerfully. The Holy Spirit will do the same with the person who gives himself fully to God, but His power and gifts will be used in service of others and not in self-exaltation. The Holy Spirit's gifts are not given to be used at our discernment even in God's name, but as He deems.
There is a deadly practice that even many religious people engage, that of playing the middle. In order to live the most abundant and self-satisfying lives, they are selective, using the resources of satan or of God arbitrarily, which ever serves their desires at the time. That's fine with satan, since he has the power to satisfy human hunger for self-indulgence, thus leading us away from total reliance on God, which is what God requires in order to care for and redeem us. The caveat is that we feel good about our accomplishments and believe they earned God's merit due to the praises of others for our good works.
Self-reliant and proud persons trust their own judgment or trust in wordily knowledge and ways. Those who seek to relinquish our sovereignty and be totally engulfed in God's realize that everything that is personally painful or challenging, that all that reflects the folly and satanic trap of self-sufficiency, serves to remind and teach us that only our Creator can make our decisions, can provide guidance, can ensure our steps. God can be trusted to give us abundant life on earth and in His heavenly kingdom as we allow Him to set us apart as His obedient children.
So don't blame Adam and Eve. We would have done the same thing. We are doing the same thing. Self-exaltation is Satan's fall. Christ said he who serves his life will lose it; he who is first shall be last; he who is the greatest shall be the last. So let's just give up and let His Spirit live in us and make us like Him, Christ-like and obedient.
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
Weekly Reflections © April 28, 2001
"God's Word" is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotation are used by permission.
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