Last year on a beautiful autumn afternoon I was driving to my home near the Snowy Mountains in Australia, and I saw the season’s first snow on the mountain peaks. It looked like white gelato. I live the perfect distance from the mountains. Far enough away to avoid snow in my backyard but close enough to admire the view. My house is about a kilometre from the supermarket, newsagent, hairdresser, petrol station and my doctor’s surgery. I feel very blessed. I live in a beautiful place. I have everything I need.
Yet all of God’s blessings haven’t immune me from FOMO – the fear of missing out.
This acronym has come into being with the increasing use of social media. When we see our friends’ online photos of where they are, what they’re doing, and what they’re eating, we feel like we’re missing out. This fear becomes the devil’s temptation to believe that God is keeping good things from us.
Everything we need
Eve was the first female in the Bible and she had everything she needed. She lived in the beautiful garden that God had created for her and Adam. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit … A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden” (Genesis 2:9-10).
Adam and Eve had plenty to eat and drink and there were no threats to their health or wellbeing. They had a sense of security, and their emotional needs were also met. They were loved by God and by each other. There was nothing to be anxious or worried about. Furthermore, they had a sense of purpose. God told them: “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground” (Genesis 1:28).
What could the devil possibly tempt Eve with? She was blessed with everything she could possibly want. Yet Eve succumbed to temptation when the serpent tells her she is missing out on something good – wisdom. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).
Why would God keep something good from us?
The devil manages to convince Eve that God is keeping something from her, something good, beautiful and useful. Why would God plant a beautiful fruit tree in the middle of the garden containing something as important as the knowledge of good and evil and not want them to eat its fruit? Logically it made no sense.
The devil’s temptation expressed the idea that God was keeping something good from them and if God was a good God, why would he do that?
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a test. Would Adam and Eve trust God’s goodness? The garden God provided showed ample evidence of God’s love and care. But, would they trust God when he said, no? Would they trust his leadership in their lives?
Consider God’s goodness
Eve was convinced by the devil’s lies. “She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it” (Genesis 3:6).
In eating the fruit Eve was saying, “I’m missing out on something good. I need wisdom. I need to know more than God is telling me.” She didn’t consider the evidence of God’s blessings that she saw all around her every day and succumbed to the devil’s temptation.
The devil still uses the same tactics. We see pictures or hear stories of other people’s good fortune and feel like we’re missing out, not always on material things, but on spiritual blessings. “Why is God taking so long to answer my prayers? Why haven’t circumstances worked out the way I hoped?”
At such times the devil seeks to chip away our trust in God by tempting us to doubt his goodness. By our words or our actions, we may succumb and say to God, “I need to know more than you’re telling me.”
But God would say to us, “You don’t need to know. You need to trust me.”
More articles about women in the Bible can be found here.