Eve & The Greatest Salesman

Selling to the unwilling is a difficult thing. You have to move the prospect from the valley of indifference to the plains of acceptance and finally to the summit of the buying decision.

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And so it is remarkable that a woman was tempted out of the comfort of Eden by a Salesman who was peddling what turned out to be a lemon.

He preyed on her curiosity and exploited her hesitancy. He, like all good salesmen, moved her through the gears – Attention…Interest….Desire…Action. The last step was the fateful decision to ‘purchase’ and use the damnable product.

A tested and proven four step method…

Attention:

Genesis 3:1 “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

A rhetorical question that gets you thinking is a good way to attract your attention. It made Eve pause and think.

It was a rhetorical question because the Serpent knew the answer to it. The answer was obvious to both the questioner and questioned.

The way it was asked though, left Eve thinking that they could be a different answer. Her curiosity thus piqued, she was now ready for Satan’s next hook.

Interest:

Genesis 3:4
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die”

The serpent now had Eve’s attention. But mere attention in itself is noncommittal. It only guarantees listening. He had to do more.

And the above grand statement was it. In one fell swoop, he described the product in a way that addressed the root of Eve’s deepest fears. She would not die! Death was supposed to be the sad consequence of disobedience to God’s command. And it would no longer happen! Suddenly Eve’s pulse quickened. She was excited. This proposition was now interesting.

Satan had her literally where he wanted her to be. It was now time for the next hook.

Desire:

Genesis 3:5-6 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…”

Now that he had gotten the attention of the customer and had earned her trust, he swiftly took advantage of it. He showcased the benefits of the product. He appealed to her sense of sight for the fruit was pleasant to the eyes. He appealed to her sense of taste and sensual pleasure. He made it clear that the ‘fruit was good for food’. He appealed to her need for intellectual affirmation, for it was a ‘tree to be desired to make one wise’.

Marketers know that you pitch the benefits of a product and not the physical or technical features. Otherwise the presentation would be a dry one lacking in emotional appeal.

Satan, being a wily old salesman, focused on the benefits and not the features too. Eve never realized until it was too late, the actual specifications of the product she was desiring. Or how difficult it would be to return or dispose of it. That would come later. For now, all the talk was about benefits!

Action:

Genesis 3:6 “…she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

After moving her up the ladder – from the rung of Attention to Interest and from Interest to Desire, there was one thing left to do; to go for it.

She was convinced about the product, it ticked all her boxes. Then she reached with aroused anticipation and took the fruit and ate it. There was no immediate post-purchase anxiety. None. She even flaunted the benefits to Adam. He ate of the fruit as well.

The World’s greatest salesman had done a good job. He was so persuasive that his convert became an influencer for the cause. Word-of-mouth/viral marketing was in full swing.

This virus had an unmentioned feature. It would enter the bloodstream and doom all of Adam & Eve’s descendants to be perpetual addicts to the product. The delighted Eve did not know that yet.

This great salesman is still wooing customers today. His tactics have not changed. He is slick and cunning. His campaign focuses on creating a buzz, arousing desire and talking exclusively about benefits not features. He appeals to the senses, and is an astute judge of human emotions.

Beware of him. Do not be deceived as Eve was. Stay with the Word. To get back to the Eden of God, you must withstand the wiles and charms of the greatest salesman.

Spiritual Osmosis

Osmosis, they say is the movement of substances from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration through a semipermeable membrane. Let us forget about the membrane for a minute.

For the nonscientific layman (me), I’d say it is the movement of resources, talents, gifts etc, from regions of scarcity to regions of plenty.

Spiritual gifts, by definition are the resources freely given by the Spirit of God. The Word of God in this regard is a foundational resource. The Revelation of the Word is also one of the most important spiritual blessings, the one that matters more than the others which may be flashier and have greater impact like tongues, prophecies and miracles.

Spiritual osmosis occurs when the true knowledge of the Word would diminishes among the unbelievers but increases among those walking in the Light. Instead of a diffusion (lightening the dark hearts) of the Gospel Light, you have instead, areas of blazing light and regions of gross (intense) darkness.

How can this be? Is this at all possible? It certainly is. It is a strange phenomenon that occurs at the end of an epoch, just before judgement strikes.

Lot sees and flees

At the time when God was determined to punish Sodom for her misdeeds, He went angels to her. These angels went to house of honest Lot. He was a righteous man, but found it difficult to pull away from Sodom’s society and the benefits it brought. Lot, to his credit, saw the angels and understood their message. Being forewarned, he fled with his family to the relative safety of the plains of Zoar.

So the warning angels appeared to the man who was almost ready!

While Sodom is blinded…

On the other hand, the people of Sodom were in dire need of help. The thunderclouds of sulphur and brimstone were forming above their heads. If they were spiritual, perhaps they smelt the whiff of the coming burning. They did not. They had multiple layers of ignorance.

1. They did not realize what they were doing was wrong
2. They did see the oncoming fiery judgement
3.They did not see the messengers who were sent execute the Divine sentence.

Surely a people this ignorant deserved a chance to see and understand their dire straits?

When the angels appeared, the citizens of Sodom were aware. They saw new faces and strangers in the land. They saw them but did not know their mission. Instead of the angels enlightening them, they were smitten with blindness. And the little flicker of physical recognition was snuffed out.

Thus the benighted Sodomites became even more ignorant, while Lot who knew the truth, gained more revelation.

From he that hath not:

Jesus gave us the parable of the talents. It is noteworthy that the Master gave the servants talents according to their abilities. Those that had greater capacity got more, those that could do less, got less.

The least endowed in the parable was the man that got one talent. In a fit pique, he hid his talent in the sand and did nothing with it. He gained nothing too. The others put their talents to use and made profit for the Master.

As expected the Master came back and asked for returns on his investment. The man he gave five talents showed his returns, the man with two talents did the same.

However, the hero of the drama was the man given only one talent. He produced zero return on investment.

What would the Master do now? Would he punish him? The Master’s decision was one for the ages. He took the unutilized talent of the lazy servant and handed it over to the man who already had ten talents (He made five more in trading).

Which brings us to another example of spiritual osmosis. The light that the one-talent man had was taken away from him and given to someone who already had more than enough.

It is clear then, that we need to hold tenaciously to the Word of God we know. Otherwise It could be taken away from us. The little light will turn to darkness while the bright lights of those who wholeheartedly accept the Word will become brighter still.

God forbid that we should be on the wrong side of this osmosis like the people of Sodom or the one-talent servant.

A Dream Discerned

Nebuchadnezzar once had a dream from Divinity’s realm
He was troubled by its significance and humbled by ignorance
He called his academy of spiritual arts, men of divers parts
Magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and chaldean pseudo-philosophers

They could not interpret the dream, for the king on a whim
Did not tell them his dream, so they had double trouble
They must recount it and interpret it or else they would be stubble

The King insisted on this and they were bemused and flabbergasted
They had hoped he will tell so that they could fabricate so well
With fair words and dark lies, interpreting as the crow flies

The King’s decree was death, to all the wise in the kingdom’s breadth
When Daniel heard of this, he knew this dart would not miss
So the quartet began to pray, that God would reveal the way
An escape from this temptation that could lead to wrongful execution

God who discerns thoughts, who finds where clues are not
Gave the dream and interpretation to Daniel and brought salvation
To the elect in captivity, not allowing them perish with the majority

The dream was about a great image with portents for age to age
The head was gold, the body was of silver, brass and iron twice told
For iron was twofold, first pure, then an unsure alloy of clay
Each metal represented one of the four great empires that would dominate
The Gentile dispensation – the fourth holds sway via clay to this day

Roots Of Deepest Impulses

Where there is a deep calling
There is a deep to respond
Where there is a longing
There is also a satisfying
Where there is a sincere seeking
There is a reward of receiving
The reason we strain for life
Is there is a life without
strife
When we see the sick battling
It tells of One who does healing
Every teardrop of pain and loss
Speaks of a land without a cross
No winged bird would have been born
Without a way to fly to the sun
The reason we want to know more
Means there is more to know for sure
Many men on earth hoard gold
Unwittingly pining for a city of riches untold
If the striving for things transient
Is a sad legacy of man’s celestial bent
Better to convert these surging urges
To the high calling of Him sent
To satisfy mankind’s thirst
By restoring Eden of the blessed

The Sound of Grace

“Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth
Or childhood
I must have done something
Something good”

Sound of Music

That may be the sound of music, but it is certainly not the sound of Grace. Grace is the essence of undeserved favour. As it is written – when we were without strength (undeserving) Christ died for the ungodly.

Grace is the sunshine that shines through the rain, the pleasure that seeks through the pain, the glory that overlooks our past shame. If our adulthood blessings are a function of our childhood works then God is not gratuitous, for He owes us a debt for past services.

He owes us a debt truly, but its a debt of judgement. All our previous deeds of morality and self-righteousness count for nothing in His sight. Yet Grace came to the rescue and forgave the debt, and granted us a lease of life. From the doldrums of spiritual bankruptcy, He has given us Capital Favour to thrive with.

So never bother about a dismal past or a chequered history, the acceptance of Grace promises a new story of unfolding glory. Grace is the essence of Something coming from Nothing.

Easy Yoke(less)

A pity that a gospel built
On the foundation of self-denial
Should become a ticket
To avoid any hard trial

All upside and no downside
Is not what we were given
Not always sunny days and skies
Rain does not mean ‘not forgiven’

Paul the great apostle opines
That all godly will suffer persecution
Hindrances of different forms
What informs the modern exemption?

Faith must stand fair and foul
Victory awaits those who fight
And win war against the soul
Character is triumph over might

The Value of Little ‘Not’

The value of little ‘not’
Always underrated but
Important when unheeded
By many to great hurt

Thou shall not eat thereof
Was the command given
The reward for eating was
To fall by death’s sting

But Satan brought another
‘Not’ for he said
‘Thou shall surely ‘not’
Die the death you dread

Eve forgot the first not
For lure of the second
She traded nots and gained
Nought-for she and husband
Died in same thousand year day

One misplaced not brought
Death and human suffering
To all sages in all ages
What a single ‘not’ brought forth!

Christ has made a way back
He has bought the life Eve sought
So He must be our truth North
To navigate quick sands of Satan’s nots

We’d be nuts to reject Him for Satan’s nots
That only lead to regions fraught
With the weeping of the distraught