January 7

Genesis 3:6 (NIV) 6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Yesterday we saw a few of Satan's strategies, and in this verse, we see why they are effective. In 1 John 2:15-17, John wrote that the world consists of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. When Satan was able to get Eve to question God, she looked at the fruit. The child of God is to walk by faith and not by sight. We are to see in the spiritual realm with our spiritual eyes what is eternal and not be tricked by what we see in the physical. It looked good for food. Was it? As good as death! But she allowed her eyes to deceive her, instead of trusting in what God had said.

The fruit looked like it could satisfy her natural desires. The world never really satisfies. We often think it can fill the void within, but it leaves us hungrier than before. Like all addictions, there is some satisfaction, but you need to constantly increase the quantity of money, drugs, food, sex or whatever it is you are seeking to fill your emptiness. Finally that excess ends in an empty death. The void within us can only be filled by the eternal, infinite God.

She thought it would make her wise. There is a grain of truth in Satan's lies. She would know what it was to rebel against God, to feel remorse, to be separated from His presence, to fear His justice.

These three weaknesses that both this story and the Apostle John described are with us today as much as ever. Recognize them! They are of the world. The world and its lusts pass away, but he who does the will of His Father lives forever.

Prayer: Lord help me to see that satisfaction is found in God alone.

January 7

Jonah 4:2-4 (NIV) 2He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live." 4But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

A great fish swallowed Jonah. For three days and nights he survived in this fish's belly. It was a foreshadowing of Jesus' three days in the grave. Then God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah up on the shore. God gave Jonah a second chance to obey. He did.

He walked through the city proclaiming, "Forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed!" Everyone, including the king, repented with sackcloth and fasting. God saw their repentant hearts and did not send judgment. That greatly disappointed Jonah. He wanted to see his word come to pass. He told God that was one reason he didn't want to go in the first place, he knew God would be merciful.

In his pouting state, Jonah decided he should just die. God, you can't live with Him, and you can't live without Him. He just won't do what you want Him to do! In this matter, Jonah was at fault because he did not have God's heart for the people. He was not gracious and compassionate toward non-Jews, like God is. God asks Jonah a question that He often asks us, "Have you any right to be angry?" Well? Think about it!

To illustrate the point, God caused a vine to grow up quickly and shade Jonah from the heat of the sun. Jonah was very glad. The next morning God caused a worm to kill the vine. Jonah was upset that the vine died. Here is the lesson for us all. We are upset about little things that affect our comfort, should we not share God's concern about the thousands of lost souls?

Consider: Are you praying for the souls that need Him in nations that are enemies of your country? The LORD wants to share His heart for them with you.