“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1).
So says the satanic serpent.
“We may eat fruit from the tree in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:3).
So responds Eve.
But did Eve quote God correctly? You decide:
“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” (Genesis 2:16-17).
So declared God.
Did Eve correctly quote God?
Almost, but no.
Think about this with me. Eve got right most of what God said. She wasn’t off base by far. She got just one detail wrong: “and you must not touch it.” Delete this phrase and she gets a 100% on the test. Delete this phrase and perhaps her and her husband’s lives aren’t sent down a disastrous road. She got one detail wrong and Satan used it to destroy their lives.
Here’s my plea: pay careful attention to Scripture’s details. Details matter! Be diligent as you study it. Slow down and meticulously read every word. Pastors, your congregation needs you to be studious in your sermon preparation. You play an influential role in modeling for them what it looks like to pay attention to Scripture’s details.
Getting one detail wrong was all it took. God bothered to put every word in the Bible for a reason. Let’s bother to pay careful attention to each of them.