Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 (NKJV)
The first thing out of Satan’s mouth is intended to cast doubt on God’s Word. Has God really said that you must not eat of every tree in the Garden? Well, of course God had really said that (Genesis 2:16-17a).
Adam and Eve both knew God really said that. But Satan asks this question in an attempt to undermine their confidence in God’s Word. Satan knows that if they didn’t believe God’s Word they wouldn’t obey God’s Word.
That attack worked so well in the Garden that Satan has continually used it since. There are all sorts of attacks in our day that seek to cast doubt on God’s Word.
Has God indeed said that sex before marriage is wrong?
Has God indeed said that Jesus is the only way of salvation?
Has God indeed said that all people are naturally sinfully depraved and separated from God?
Has God indeed said that marriage is only between a man and a woman?
Has God indeed said that church is important to our spiritual lives?
Has God indeed said that we must remain faithful to Jesus to the end?
Has God indeed said…?
In each of these instances, God has indeed said. What is especially disturbing about this particular attack on God’s Word is that many times it comes from within the church. Some of the greatest attack on the reliability of God’s Word come from those who profess faith in Jesus. There are several books by so-called Christian authors who ask these very sorts of question. Now, don’t get me wrong here. It’s good to ask the questions as long as you give the answers that Scripture gives. But most of these folks don’t do that. Instead, they give the same sort of unanswered open ended questions that Satan did here.
Another way we see this is in those who call into question, in their words, insignificant details. Take for instance the number of Jews who left Egypt in the Exodus. The number of people the Bible gives us is a huge number of people. Some will say things like, “There is no way that number could be real. It’s more likely an intentionally inflated number used to make the Israelites look bigger than they really were. But it’s not a big deal.”
Some will say that the Bible is correct when it speaks of spiritual things, like salvation, nature of God, Jesus, etc, but when it comes to historical events and other non-spiritual issues it can err. They also say that the Bible never errs on important issues like salvation or heaven just on insignificant things like history and science.
The problem with this should be obvious. If we can’t trust the Bible on insignificant issues how can we possibly trust the Bible on eternally significant issues? The doubt that creeps in on “insignificant” issues will eventually spread to the bigger issues. We should be very leery of anyone or anything that seeks to cast doubt on God’s Word.
Satan casts doubt on God’s Word because he knows that if you doubt God’s Word you won’t obey God’s Word. Satan always attacks God’s Word to undermine our confidence in God’s Word.