Doubting the Goodness of God
Bible Reading: Genesis 3:1-6
No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11
THE STORY OF the first sin ever committed is recorded in today’s Bible reading. The story reports what the serpent said to Eve and what Eve said to the serpent. But have you ever wondered what the Tempter and his victim were thinking as they talked? Maybe their thoughts went something like this:
“Really?” the serpent asked the woman. Let me see; I think I’ll start by getting her confused about what God has said! “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. This serpent really bugs me; he acts like he knows so much. Well, I’ll show him! “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat.” let’s see; what did God say again? It seems so long ago, now that I think about it. “God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.” At least, it was something like that.
OK, let’s plant a little doubt in her mind. “You won’t die,” the serpent hissed. Come to think of it, a little jealousy wouldn’t hurt either. “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it.” Yeah, that’s the ticket; make her think that God’s keeping something from her! “You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. Maybe God is trying to hide something from me. Maybe he gave me that command to keep me from having fun! The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit.
Now, maybe that’s how it happened with Eve, and maybe it’s not. But doubting the goodness of God is often the first step toward making the wrong choice.
Many times people act like God gave his commands because he doesn’t want them to have any fun. They think that the only way they can have fun or get what they want is by ignoring God’s commands. But the Bible says, “No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11).
You see, God is good. He wants to give us every good thing there is! The problem is, we often think that God withholds good things from us by commanding us to “do this” and “don’t do that.” But that’s not true. He will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. If we truly believe that, wrong choices won’t be so tempting.
REFLECT: Have you ever felt like God’s commands kept you from getting what you want or kept you from having fun? Do you think it would be easier for you to obey God if you really believed Psalm 84:11? Why or why not?
PRAY: “God, I know you are good and that you won’t withhold any good thing from those who do what is right. Help me, from now on, to really believe in your goodness and to remember that I can’t get good things through bad choices.”