After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
After Adam and Even were banished from the Garden of Eden, God assigned an angel to the pathway to keep them from entering again. The angel who kept Adam and Eve out of the Garden had a flashing sword. Even though I wasn’t there, I can imagine that it was a scary sight. I figure the angel probably did his job pretty well. We don’t ever hear about Adam or Eve trying to have a sword fight with that angel.
Can you think of times in your life that it felt like God had placed that angel in front of something that tempted you? I think God gives us opportunities to walk past temptations without putting an angel there to bar the door. But I also think that there are times when he makes sure we aren’t able to fall to a certain temptation.
As a parent, I recognize that my kids can handle a certain amount of temptation successfully. If the temptation is too great, I usually step in and help remove the source of the problem.
God doesn’t set us up for failure. He wants us to succeed in everything we do.
Like it says in Deuteronomy 30:9 “Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land.” And in Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
He wants us to prosper, but God also knows that we humans can be a bit stubborn sometimes. I know there have been times in my life where I felt drawn to do something, but I knew I shouldn’t, but I also knew I was going to do it anyway. See? He had a good reason for the scary angel with the sword.
Most of our temptations are things that we can walk past, but we don’t. We have the ability to control ourselves and turn away, but we want God to put an angel with a flaming sword in front of all our temptations.
He’s not going to do that.
He holds out his hand and offers his strength. In our relationship with God, we can overcome any temptation, not by avoiding a sword-wielding angel, but by submitting to God. According to James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
If anything in your life seems overwhelmingly tempting and you can see yourself being sucked into the black hole of temptation, fall to your knees at that moment and submit to God. He lifts up those who are down. He strengthens the weak. With your hand in God’s, you will be able to rise up and resist the devil.
Then watch the devil flee.