Don’t Take the Bait!
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So 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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. – Genesis 3:1-7
How often do you find yourself going down the clickbait wormhole? I don’t go there often, but when I do, it seems like one thing leads to another, and my interest in the 50 Amazing Photographs from the 1930’s has become 50 Cute Dog Pictures You Must See. Let’s not even mention New Law has Harris County Drivers Saving Big, or These Childhood TV Stars Have Aged Poorly. But I digress.
When it comes to even more insidious bait, the serpent has it down pat. He offers Eve food that is pleasing to the eye, good for food, and desirable for gaining wisdom. This is not some half-rotten apple laying at the foot of the tree. This is desirable, good, pleasing, or so it seems. But it harbors a toxic poison. It won’t look even remotely good once eaten. It won’t satisfy physical hunger for long. And the supposed wisdom it offers is anything but that which Scripture points to.
While it may be appealing to look at and eat, the wisdom offered is patently foolish. The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no god’ (Psalm 14:1). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7). The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). Satan is offering false wisdom and deadly knowledge. It will be the ruin of Adam and Eve.
To eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to determine for themselves that which is good and which is evil. Sadly, Adam and Eve don’t even take a moment (apparently) to talk it over. There is no, “No, Eve! We must not do this. We should not take that which God has not to eat.” Eve does not say, “What do you think Adam? Shall we believe this serpent or the Lord God?”
But the bait is before them. Slyly cast by the Deceiver. Appealing but with a sharp barb. It comes today when the opportunity to fudge on taxes is so appealing and easy. It’s lurking around the corner when you don’t think God is going to take care of you and there’s a short-cut to your urgent craving. It sits at the traffic light. It walks on the beach. It smiles from the bottle. It beckons with the promise of the highest high you can imagine.
But beware: the best bait hides the sharpest hook. And Satan doesn’t throw it out for fun. His intent is evil and destruction, death, and despair. Don’t take the bait!
I giggled right out loud over recognizing myself in the first paragraph. I had to admit it so you would not feel all alone!!!
Then came the thinking below…on a more serious note:
I recall fishing as a child in the ponds on my grandparent’s farm in Crockett. With cane pole, fitted with fishing line, a cork, hook and freshly dug earthworms we’d walk across the highway or hop onto the tailgate of the truck and off we’d go. You know, to bait the hook, you must break the long ones so as not to waste your bait and then you slide them lengthwise onto the hook and get them into the water before their wriggling stops. Barbaric to describe but I did this as a little girl 4-10 years old. After all, it was what you do to catch the fish UNAWARE. Some fish would come along and nibble the bait. They seemed to know what the endgame was – death, and they quickly left the scene. How wise! Others didn’t give it a thought. Chomp, the bait was taken, under went the cork, I gave a little yank and voila! We ate those fish! BTW, I could bait the hook, but I stopped fishing when Daddy stopped taking the fish off the line. It was good to have Daddy by my side back then. It is even better when we call upon our Heavenly Father when the bait is tempting us to bite! We run to Him and His safe arms are open wide! He wipes us off, opens our eyes, reframes our being and stands us back up. Thank you Father for being ever-present, hearing our pleas and rescuing us. Amen.