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5/15/2011

BEFORE THE FIRST BITE

"Before the action comes the thought."   

H.C. Leupold wrote commentary over the famous Genesis verses telling of the Fall of Humanity.   Of how the "serpent" utilized the first military tactic of 'divide and conquer' by approaching Eve alone in the Garden.  Leupold noted that had he approached the couple together they would have mutually supported and protected each other from the clever words which sought to tempt.

Interestingly, Leupold also infers something occurring which brought to mind the words of Jesus.  

For religious people of Jesus' day, as long you did not act on the thought you were blameless.  So, men might look at a woman with lust but as long as he did nothing to fulfill that lust he was safe.  Jesus, however, indicated that impurity in the thoughts was no different than the act..."he who has looked at woman with lust has already committed adultery with her."

Leupold writing in his Exposition of Genesis (Baker, 1945) stated the eating of the fruit was not the sin...it was the result of the sin.  The sin was not giving an immediate 'get thee behind me Satan!'    As Martin Luther wrote, it was a sin against the word of God - in this case the literal words of God spoken to not eat the fruit of that particular tree.  The willingness to listen to the anti-God whispers was the moment of sin.

Sometimes, we can be very self-satisfied that we did not act on the deed or desire that flitted through our minds or our hearts. We can applaud our sense of tolerance and open-mindedness about areas of ambiguousness.  

Instead, sometimes old adages such as where there is smoke there is fire should be recalled. Or, the words of Jesus about the thought  or desire preceeding the action.

Stop....before the first bite...

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