Bible and Theology
The Greatest Lie
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Apr 22, 2022
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In Genesis 2:16-17, God told Adam, "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, . . ." But later when the serpent asked Eve to confirm what God had commanded Adam, she added something that the Creator had not said. She added ". . . and you must not touch it" (Genesis 3:3).

Perhaps she had already begun to question God's command. Every tree in the garden was hers to enjoy except one—yet it seems her attention was focused on that one forbidden tree. Eve was fascinated by the tree, and Satan knew her area of weakness and how best to attack it.

The moment Eve made her choice, she stopped believing in God as her all-wise Creator and friend.


So, Satan hit her with a lie contradicting God's words; he said, "You will certainly not die, . . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:4-5). This lie stems from the ultimate lie that God cannot be trusted—that He is not loving and just in His sovereign will but rather deceives. It is the greatest lie, and it ruins lives by saying that God's way is not the only way to live. Nothing could be further from the Truth, which becomes clear when Satan's deception is revealed.

Satan promised Eve that she would not die. Instead, she would have knowledge of good and evil. This lie had an element of Truth—by disobeying God, Eve did come to know the difference between good and evil—but in the most horrific way possible as she and Adam took part in sin itself.

Satan had told Eve that this experiential knowledge of sin would make her like God, with a divine understanding of good and evil. That was a complete lie. The moment Eve made her choice, she stopped believing in God as her all-wise Creator and friend.

Instead, she convinced herself that God was preventing her from experiencing the goodness of the tree and the godlike knowledge of good and evil. She doubted that her Creator truly wanted the best for her. In fact, she actually believed Satan's suggestion that God had lied to her. Have you fallen for Satan's greatest lie?

Prayer: God, I know that Your every word is true. Help me to always remember that anything that contradicts Your Word is a lie. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?'" (Genesis 3:1).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon The Garden vs. the City, Part 1: LISTEN NOW