To be honest, he was a bit nervous. It was the first time he would slither up to a stranger and try to throw her off her game. He had never spoken to a human before and as he got closer; he rehearsed his opening line. Moments later, he was elated! He couldn’t believe it. It only took three sentences to derail her entire life, overturn her husband’s life – and truth be told, ruin the entire human race.
How did the serpent in the garden so quickly turn Eve against God? Why would Eve so swiftly disobey God? It was easy. He made her feel discontent with her lot in life. There was only one thing God withheld from Adam and Eve. There was only one thing they were not to do. They were not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That’s it. Only one thing. The entire harvest of Eden was theirs to enjoy – except the fruit of that one tree. Every aisle in the grocery store, every item in the refrigerated section, every fruit and vegetable in the produce bins, and all the baked goods were available to them. Just one prohibition. Don’t eat the fruitcake, for on the day that they eat it, they will die. That’s it. Just one prohibition! And this is where Satan slandered God to Eve.
The enemy assaults us at the point of prohibition, not at the point of permission.
Satan told Eve God was holding out on her. He told her if she ate the fruit, she would become like God, knowing good from evil. “God is holding out on you, Eve. He is keeping you from something that will be so good for you. He doesn’t want you to partake of it because if you do, you won’t need Him anymore. You’ll be like Him. God doesn’t want you to taste that sweet liberty.” Satan intimated that God is not good but a petty, stingy God holding her down from what rightfully belonged to her. “This is your right! You deserve this! Rise up and throw off His bondage!”
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
That lie created discontent within Eve’s heart. “God is holding out on me,” she thought. Satan created FOMO within her heart. Anxiety and resentment consumed her. The seed of his lie sowed discontent, which gave birth to fear, which shriveled into unbelief and then expressed itself in disobedience, which resulted in death. “Not bad for a morning’s work,” the serpent said to himself as he slunk away.
This tool of Satan, though used for thousands of years on billions of people, has never lost its sharp edge. It hasn’t grown dull with time and usage. Don’t look down on Eve and think of her as a weak woman, an easy mark. It took him three sentences to bring down Eve. For many of us, it only takes him one sentence to create discontent, which can lead to resentment, fear, unbelief, and disobedience. Satan knows how to slither up to you and poison you with one sentence.
I am going to disagree with C.S. Lewis, Augustine, Aquinas, and the major theologians of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant traditions. I don’t think that the original sin was pride. I believe it was discontent that expressed itself in unbelief that resulted in disobedience. It was FOMO. It wasn’t a swelling pride that drove Eve, it wasn’t because she had an excessively high opinion of herself. It was because she thought so little of God; it was a poisonous discontent. She said, “I want what God has forbidden me. God is holding out on me.” Her discontent, her FOMO, drove her to consume that which resulted in greater discontent.
Contentment isn’t the result of passively accepting whatever comes into your life. Contentment is the fruit of actively surrendering to God in the hustle and bustle, in the twists and turns, in the brokenness and disappointments of life. Contentment comes as you trust in the Lord with all your heart, not leaning on your own understanding, acknowledging Him in all your ways, and believing that He is making your paths straight. The devil is seeking to breed discontent in your heart. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.