The Devil's favourite punctuation mark
Sometimes we’re tempted to question God’s Word. “Is that really true?” we might have thought.
Other times we’re tempted to change God’s Word, even just slightly, to suit our purposes? “I mean, what’s a word here or there? One word doesn’t make much difference, does it?”
Or maybe we just outright contradict God’s Word. “I reject that truth or that way of living. I have a better idea.”
Or perhaps we even slander God’s Word? “That’s not the best way to live. God’s got this wrong. I know better than God.”
Questioning, changing, contradicting and slandering God’s Word. It’s awful isn’t it? We want to stop it. But how?
Genesis 3:1-5 helps us to stop by revealing who is behind these temptations – the Devil – and how he works. Notice how he uses these four attacks on God’s Word to lead Adam and Eve into the first sin.
THE DEVIL QUESTIONS GOD’S WORD
God commanded: Don’t eat of the tree
The Devil questions: Did God actually say that? This is the Devil’s favorite punctation mark.
Where God puts an exclamation mark, the Devil puts a question mark.
Does the Devil stop there? No.
THE DEVIL CHANGES GOD’S WORD
God banned one tree
The Devil suggested God had banned all trees
Making small changes to God’s Word, makes massive changes to God’s World.
Surely, the Devil will stop at that? No.
THE DEVIL CONTRADICTS GOD’S WORD
God said: You will surely die
The Devil said: You will not surely die
God is our commander in chief, but the Devil is our contradictor in chief.
He can’t do anything worse can he? Yes, he goes even further.
THE DEVIL SLANDERS GOD’S WORD
God’s Word protected them
The Devil says it limits them: God knows that if you eat the fruit you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.
A modern form of this slander might be something like: “But God’s just trying to stop me being happy when he forbids partying, drinking, and recreational sex.”
God’s commands protect us, but the Devil says they ruin us.
When we are tempted to question, change, contradict, or slander God’s Word, let’s remember who is behind it all. We must strip the mask off our inner voice so that we can see who is behind it all – the Devil. Strip off the mask of temptation to weaken the temptation.
But also remember who is behind the written Word of God. It is Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. The more we see the Living Word behind the written Word, the more we’ll love the Word of God. We won’t question it, but affirm it. We won’t change it, but maintain it. We won’t contradict it, but agree with it. We won’t slander it, but praise it.
See the Devil’s face behind his words to weaken his words. See Christ’s face behind his Word to strengthen his Word.