This sinister whisper of the voice of evil is, I think, why God so frequently tells His people to "Remember."
Remember what I've said to you this day. Remember what I've done for you in this lifetime. Remember all the promises I've made. Remember all the commands I've given you. Remember every word I've ever said...
...because the evil one is tricky, and his whisper is death.
And it's true, right? Because it's only in the whisper, it seems, that we forget.
Walk right up to us and tell us that God isn't good, and it's almost laughable. Of course God is good, we say; He proves that to us again and again.
Walk right up to us and tell us that God doesn't love us, and we won't understand what you're saying. Of course God loves us. He proves it again and again.
Walk right up to us and tell us that God is disappointed in us, and we will instinctively recall God's grace. Maybe He is disappointed in us, but that doesn't change His grace. Of course God is gracious, even to us. He proves it again and again.
Walk right up to us and tell us that God is a liar, and we will search our hearts and minds for any tiny shred of evidence for your claim...and come up empty. Of course God is honest; God is truth. Every word He's spoken is true. He proves it again and again.
Walk right up to us and tell us something silly like this, and we'll know it's not real. We'll know it's a lie. We'll see right away what a twist it is on the truth, how it's just God's own word turned around.
But whisper it in our ear....
Whisper it in our ear, and we don't know any more. Because it doesn't feel like it's about God any more; it feels like it's about us. It feels very personal, and if we are being asked to consider ourselves, well, then, it might just be true.
This is the way that evil works. It whispers this idea in our ear that causes us not to consider our God, but to consider ourselves, and then to hear God's voice in the echo of our own consideration.
It's what happened to Eve. The serpent whispers in her ear, "Did God really say....?" But the real heart of the wicked message is that the serpent plays on her own sense of competence. By calling out knowledge, he forces Eve to consider what she really knows. And what she really knows is that....she doesn't know any more. If she doesn't know, then maybe she's wrong. If she's wrong, maybe she ought to be eating from this tree after all. She says quite plainly what God really said, but asked in a whisper to consider it, she considers herself. She who is without knowledge, particularly the knowledge of good and evil, might be wrong.
And if she's wrong, well....yum.
It's what happens to all of us. Asked in a whisper to consider God, we consider ourselves and find ourselves lacking. And then, all of a sudden, we forget. We forget what God really said or what God really meant, and we bite. We full-on bite.
Which is why God always tells us that the most important thing we can do...is remember.
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