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“When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.” Genesis 3:6 New English Translation
A friend of mine informed me that this delicate looking plant is called Leafy Spurge. I didn’t know that fact. We’re tempted to think that once we know the name of a plant we truly know that plant. Yet, as I quickly discovered, all I really knew was the name of the plant. I didn’t know that it is a noxious weed. Uff da!!!
Suddenly, the picture wasn’t as pretty for me.
Was this Adam and Eve’s experience in the garden? Eve notices that this fruit was good for food and pleasing to the eye. Beyond these outer qualities, she believed that this fruit could make her wise. Adam probably noticed the same details. So, they ate the fruit even though God said, “don’t eat it!”
In reality, this beautiful fruit was nothing more than a noxious weed. Uff da!!!
So often the temptations we face appear gorgeous to our eyes and souls. There is something in temptation that appeals to our senses and charms our souls, and too often we pick the fruit and eat it only to taste the bitterness of death.
There is something that dies in us when we surrender to temptations. Something dies in us when we chose to eat of the fruit of idolatry. Something dies in us when we chose to eat of the fruit of gossip. Something dies in us when we chose to eat of the fruit of hatred.
Though the man and the woman had eaten from the forbidden fruit and received the justice of death, God promised a Savior from this death of their choosing; of our choosing. Because of Jesus, the noxious weed of temptation has no power over you.
I know we’ll face the temptations of hatred, gossip and idolatry, and that at times we’ll fall to these temptations. However, through his sacrifice for us, we can stand up to temptation knowing that one day this Jesus who died in our place will crush temptation under his feet. The day is coming when we will not be tempted to pick the the noxious fruit of rebellion against God.
Until that day, we live in the freedom of forgiveness that empowers us to let go of that fruit and walk the other way.
Copyright Douglas P. Brauner