Archive for the ‘Old Testament’ Tag

One bite of the forbidden

It slithered into their lives with no warning. They felt there was no reason to fear it. They thought there was no reason to mistrust it. It was cunning, crafty and deceptive.

The tree, the most beautiful in all of the garden stood in stark contrast to all others in the Garden of Eden, a garden where foliage flourished under a bright sun, where nothing ever died or wilted. The fruit looked like succulent scarlet jewels adorning the tree’s outstretched arms.

Declared the, ‘Tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ the, ‘Tree of Life,’ belonged to God. From all other trees of fruit in the garden they could eat; but not this one.

But, why? What could it hurt? How could one bite of the luscious fruit make any difference? Those were Eve’s thoughts.

Satan, disguised as a serpent used his deceitful manipulation on Eve, daring her.

“Go ahead. Take a bite. What harm can it do? Did God not give you all of it to enjoy?” He said.

So, she gave in to the flesh, and persuaded her husband Adam to eat of it too. The fruit was good.

Ashamed of their sin, and naked they covered themselves with leaves and tried to hide from God. But, God could see all which He had created. They were banished from the ‘Garden of Eden.’

Adam and Eve were a part of God’s master plan of creation. Now, they became a part of ushering in His plan of redemption.


To learn more about Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden you can find their story in the book of Genesis, chapters 2 & 3 of the Old Testament Bible. The above is my own paraphrased interpretation.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)



The power of our words, and the might of our tongue.

Words have power. They can lift one’s spirit, encourage, offer hope, praise, and acclaim. They can inspire, stir emotions, sooth, feed the soul, bolster confidence, heal and forgive. Like the color and hues of a rainbow awash over a sky after the storm, they can comfort, replenish the soul.

But, they can also hurt, and be as cutting and sharp as a knife, more damaging to one emotionally than a sword, physically.

Once said, they are not easily forgotten. Once written, or posted they are not retractable, and can only be deleted. Like a picture, words and the image they create are out there, and its effects, good or bad remain with those it hurt or helped.  Intentional or not, they will be remembered, often destroying friendships, relationships, causing confusion or misunderstanding. And to hit or miss with words as they are spoken or written is risky if one values their reputation or respect.

None of us are perfect, so therefore neither is our tongue tamed, or trained to prevent words fired off in anger, frustration, or sarcasm and will always find a projected target somewhere. They will get the brunt of what is said or written. If honest enough, everyone can admit to showing anger, firing hurtful words or admonition to those in our past. It can  leave one with regret, having said them. I am guilty of this. Is anyone else? God is always forgiving of what we have said, or done. But, people are sometimes not. The memory of things said runs deep. The offense is taken, and the wound can still fester. It may be their problem if they do not forgive, but it is ours if we do not learn from it.

Whether it be a politician using slander and criticism, or spinning or twisting the truth to gain votes or points, all and everyone can have a motive for spitting fire from their tongue, or writing or posting with the intent of hurting another. I have seen plenty of this on social networks. The anger, words, disdain is there for whomever it was, or was not directed.

A passage in Isaiah 55:10 (NIV) says; “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

With this in mind, I hope the words from my mouth and the words written by my hand will be used to bless those, not curse them, encourage them, not depress them, lift them up, not tear them down. In that sense, I think we all can agree we are either a work in progress, or just choose to ignore what is written by God, himself.


Posted September 15, 2012 by Joyce in Devotional, Essays, Faith, Writing

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