September 13, 2012
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6
To the best of my knowledge, maple syrup is not a fruit.
If it was, I might teasingly suggest the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden might have been a sugar maple. Those of us who love real maple syrup might better understand Adam and Eve's fall, if Satan had been offering them a stack of pancakes covered with real maple syrup.
That, my friends, would have been a serious temptation. And I'm not alone in that belief.
As proof, allow me to share that thieves have been stealing Canadian maple syrup -- a lot of Canadian maple syrup. It's true. A recent check of the giant maple syrup storage facility in the small town of Saint Louis de Blandford revealed that some of the barrels which were supposed to be full of maple syrup were empty.
Somehow, in some way, thieves had stolen 10 million pounds or 15,000 barrels of the stuff. How they did it, when they did it, and where they're storing the syrup, remain a mystery. Only one thing is certain: this much missing syrup is a serious setback to the world's strategic syrup supply.
This takes me to the rather obvious point of this devotion. That point is this: when he wants to tempt us, the devil almost always uses some kind of delectable bait. By that I mean he dangles before us something, which looks good, tastes good, smells good, feels good. Delectable.
He got Eve to sin using something that looked good. He did the same when it came time to tempt King David. When it was Jesus' turn, he suggested that fasting-Jesus just might like to sink His teeth into some fresh baked bread. Again and again, Satan takes something God has forbidden and tells us, "Go ahead, your enjoyment won't cause any problem."
Now understand, the temptation he uses on you may be different than what he uses on me. What I find appealing, you may find revolting. What is certain is this: Satan has been tempting people for a long time, and he will place before us that temptation we will find most appealing. This, in part, explains why all of us -- every one of us -- are sinners.
It also explains why all of us need a Savior. Only God's Son has been able to live His life -- from start to finish -- without buying into Satan's temptations. Again and again, Jesus resisted Satan's suggestions to abandon the mission that would lead to His death and our salvation. Again and again, He turned down the temptation to save Himself at the cost of losing us.
Now, because Jesus lived, suffered, died and rose for us, there is forgiveness when we fall into sin, when we stumble at one of Satan's temptations.
There is forgiveness and there is salvation because Jesus said, "No" to Satan's delectable bait.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I give thanks for a Savior who said, "No!" when I would have said, "Yes!" May I give thanks for what He has done and learn from His example. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries