God loved giving gifts to His kids, Adam and Eve.
But these weren’t the kind of presents that could fit in a box and be wrapped up with shiny paper and bows. No, they were better than that! God scattered stars across the sky and lit them up, like white twinkly lights. He gave them slow-moving, silly-looking, sleepy sloths and speedy, spotted cheetahs. Mighty trees with strong branches bursting with juicy fruits. See-through waters where scaly fish swam past spiny seahorses and crawling crabs. God gave Adam and Eve some good gifts to show them some important things about Himself: He was good, He loved them, He could always be trusted.
Then one day, along came Satan, who spoke lying words with his snaky tongue. He made Adam and Eve think, Hmmm, maybe God isn’t good. Maybe God doesn’t love us. Maybe God can’t be trusted. Satan whispered that to really be happy, they needed the one gift that God hadn’t given them—fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But instead of feeling happy after eating the fruit, Adam and Eve became very sad. Instead of being wise, they were ashamed.
Maybe you’re thinking after all this, God won’t want to give Adam and Eve any more gifts. But God had actually been waiting this whole time, until Adam and Eve had disobeyed and broken His one rule, to give them His best gift? What could it be? What could God give His children that would be better than all the world? It was the gift that Adam and Eve most needed, the gift that would take away the sin that they had brought in, the gift that would smash their enemy’s head under Jesus’s foot. This gift would be a person who would make Adam and Eve remember that God was good, that God loved them, and that they could always trust Him.
God promised them His best, most perfect gift—the gift He had always wanted to give them: His Son, Jesus.
Sometimes you may want things that are not good for you. Like God telling Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, your mom or dad may need to tell you “no” to things they know are not good for you.
The lie is usually, If I could just have this/do this/etc., then I will be happier than if I obey God. It’s like when Satan whispered to Eve, “If you really want to be happy, you need to be wise like God and eat from the tree.” Sin is always promising us happiness if we disobey God. But like Eve found out, that happiness will never last.
God always knew that Adam and Eve would disobey Him. His original plan, His Plan A, was always to give us Jesus (Ephesians 1:3-6).
* Corresponding Jesus Storybook Bible story: "The Terrible Lie"