Book Reviews

The Fruit and The Cross

Third of the twelve books I will review for 2018. It’s Women’s Month and before this month ends, I will review Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This book talks about forty lies women believe about God, themselves, sin, marriage, emotions and their circumstances. Her goal is to open the eyes of women to evaluate what’s going on in their hearts. I appreciate this book, as this is effective in battling lies with the Truth. DeMoss wrote the Scriptures that battle each lie that every woman believes.

Women have been the target of lies since the first woman ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. DeMoss begins each chapter with a monologue of the first woman, Eve and continues to echo this to the modern day woman. She discussed a lot of lies in this book, forty to be exact. I will focus on the lies women believe about themselves.

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A lie is never harmless. Eve was deceived into taking the bite because of what she could see and what her emotions and reason told her to be right, even when it was contrary to what God told her. Lies can only be defeated by the Truth. God values women, no, treasures women. If He didn’t, why would He include ordinary women in the Bible to weave the Greatest Story Ever Told?

Hugo van der Goes, The Fall (after 1479)
Hugo van der Goes, The Fall (after 1479)
  1. You are loved.

We read this exchange between the Woman and the Serpent in Genesis 3:4-5: “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The lie that the Serpent used then and even now is that God is withholding something from us.

I remember reading Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” All was very good. And I asked, “All was good, Lord? Even that Tree?” I believe that if the Tree was good, then He must have a good reason for commanding, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” It was forbidden but it wasn’t bad. That makes me wonder. Does He have a plan for that Tree that it wasn’t time for? Or was it a boundary line? I don’t know. But I will someday ask God this question.

God was not withholding anything from Adam and Eve. They are free to eat anything and do anything. God loves them. I am thinking now of my girls whom I set boundary lines for. I keep them safe and healthy with the boundary lines my husband and I set for our family. We have these lines because we love them. They are free to do all things but not cross the line that will entail danger for them. If I have these boundaries for my girls because of my love for them, how much more does God?  

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Psalm 16:6

 

  1. You are significant.

When the Deceiver held the fruit in his hands, he did not first approach the man. He chose the woman, who eventually led the man to sin. DeMoss writes, “I believe there is something significant about that progression and that, to this day, there is a unique sense in which Satan targets women for deception.” I believe it’s not because Eve was weak. I believe is was because she is important. She is the finale of the Creation. The suitable Helper that Adam desperately needed in the Garden. She was important.

Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honour, and pays with  disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death.

-Thomas Brooks 

The disposition of your heart is important to God. What Eve believed about God affected how she received the lie in front of her. “What we believe about orselves determines how we live,” DeMoss writes. “What we believe about God is crucial because it affects what we believe about everything else.

One of the areas that is particularly impacted by our view of God is our view about ourselves.” Your heart is important. You are important. I think that if Eve knew the impact of one act, she would have through twice. It’s not nothing. You’re not nobody. Who you are significant. What you do is significant. You are significant to God.

If she did not matter, God wouldn’t search the Garden and look for her (Genesis 3:9). This leads us to the last Truth.

 

  1. You are worthy.

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21

God made garments of skin by blood sacrifice of an animal. For Adam and Eve’s shame to be covered, God has to kill one of his creations. This is the first spilling of blood in history. This is all because of His love for the first man and woman. From that day on, men will sacrifice offerings to the altar. The Old Testament is filled with these stories. But all of that changed when that One sacrifice was made two thousand years ago. “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many (Romans 5:15)!”

“God saw Abraham’s sacrifice and said, “Now I know that you love me, because you did not withhold your only son from me.” But how much more can we look at his sacrifice on the Cross, and say to God, “Now, we know that you love us. For you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from us.” When the magnitude of what he did dawns on us, it makes it possible finally to rest our hearts in him rather than in anything else.”
― Timothy Keller

You are worthy because He died for you. This week, we celebrate Easter and remember His sacrifice on the cross. He died because He was thinking of you.

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).” You are His joy.

Woman, you are loved. You are significant. You are worthy.

 

 

 

 

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