3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 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 middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die, 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,[a] 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 loincloths for themselves.
One the first stories in the Bible involves human beings, food, and rule-breaking. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed for life. God placed them in a garden with more food than they could ever consume. And God had only restricted one food item from their diet, the apple. (There’s a whole lot behind the story and the power of that forbidden fruit to make them be like God, and their desire to do so. We might want to save that for a sermon or two.) For today’s reflections, the people just couldn’t resist something they were told would do them harm. They disobeyed, and the story of sin and sinfulness was launched before dessert.
Are there things that I desire that God has told me will do me harm? Yes. Will I have the willpower today and over the next forty days to avoid the temptation to engage in that behavior? I hope so … with God’s help.
God, let me start this Lenten journey of focusing on You more closely by seeing what destructive behaviors I might be able to dispel from my daily life. Help me to resist the temptations to think I know best, and to follow as Jesus leads. Amen.