I held the microphone up to my mouth and prepared to answer. I angled my head and puckered my lips, in what I imagined to be a thoughtful, maybe even humble position. I was going to say something I was sure they were all waiting to hear. After all, who wouldn’t want to hear what I had to say? I was a critically acclaimed, brilliant writer, with several best-sellers and another, much awaited one, in the works. Words like ‘creative genius’, ‘never a dull moment’,’thrilling’, ‘page-turner’, went hand in hand with my works. I was ten years old. I wanted to be famous.
I remember one time hearing my mom call out my name, her tone sharp and jarring. I looked up, she was standing in a muddy puddle, looking rather furious. I had almost completely drenched her with water from the waist down. Somehow I had turned, with a watering hose in hand, caught up in another daydream, and began to water her and not the vegetable garden.
Do you ever wonder what Eve was daydreaming about when she ended up too close to that tree? You know, yeah, that forbidden tree in the book of Genesis. One minute she is minding her own business and the next she is engaged in a deadly conversation.
“Now, the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’? And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die’. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
Well, that didn’t take much. One conversation and it was done. Why was it so easy for the serpent to convince Eve? Let’s be fair to Eve for a second, though. The offer was epic. To be like God! And well, also, she was not there when God created that tree, so maybe the tree preceded God and that’s how God had gotten His powers.
One wonders, however, whether this desire suddenly sprung up in Eve’s heart as the serpent talked, or whether it had been simmering in her mind for a while. God is famous. He gets all the worship. I want to be famous too.
I don’t know about you, but I fall into temptation if I have harbored and nurtured a particular thought for a while. I will have primed myself for a fall.
Back to Eve. Engaging in the conversation with the serpent, at all, was a bad move; but I do wonder why – once she was already engaged in it – why she didn’t ask the snake to prove his claims by it, the snake, eating that ‘super-fruit’ and becoming god. After all, according to the serpent, the fruit of the tree made gods. Now, that would have been something if even a creature she ruled over could become like God. Greater proof should have been warranted.
After all, God had been nothing but, to say the least, nice to them. He had given them a garden and had them rule over it. God was a friend who walked and talked with them, and I’m sure His presence was a sweet one. No sadness, no tears, just joy. Yet, God did not even get the benefit of a doubt.
How sad for Eve, because the consequences were brutal, for her, and for all of us. Now, does this mean desiring fame is wrong? No, not all the time. We just need to make sure we are desiring to be famous in the right kingdom. Moses was famous. But what was he like?
“Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.”
Abraham was famous. How was he described?
“So then, those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham”.
Abraham was a believer.
How about Job? He was so famous that there was a conversation in front of the whole unseen world about Job. How was he described?
“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’”
In fact, I am sure you have heard people say Hebrews chapter 11 is a Hall Of Fame. If not, take a look.
It seems to me that these men were first and foremost famous with God, their aim was to please God, not men. They genuinely reflected God’s character, they kept his commandments.
God hates evil. He is always right doing, and God is, yes, humble. Matthew 11:29 says “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.
Are you seeking fame in the right kingdom? Or are you priming yourself like Eve to be easily deceived, while seeking fame in all the wrong places?
Recommended additional readings:
Genesis chapters 3 and 4.
Ellen G. White’s Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 3.