Eve’s Failure

Today we will consider how Satan tempted Eve through three channels: Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life in Genesis 3:1-7:

He said to the woman, Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the Garden?”<(Satan is questioning the will of God while twisting the instruction from “a” tree to “any” tree). And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Notice that Eve added on to God’s word by saying, “Neither shall you touch it.”). But the Serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Satan is questioning the word of God). So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh) a delight to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise (pride of life), she took of its fruit and ate.

Thomas Brooks, the seventeenth-century English preacher and pastor, wrote about many of Satan’s clever strategies in his classic work entitled Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices. Among them he notes that Satan, as he did to Eve in the garden, presents the pleasure and profit of sin, but hides the misery that will follow. He paints sin with virtuous colors; for example, he presents covetousness as good economy. He diminishes sin by saying, “It is just a little pride, a little worldliness;” minimizes the fear of sin by presenting only the great mercy of God; makes the soul confident that it can walk close to occasions of sin and not get hurt; discourages the person by focusing on the sorrows and losses of a life of holiness; incites comparison with those thought to be worse; causes us to mind our sins more than our Savior; and makes us believe that we are no good because we were beset by temptation and cannot enjoy God as we once did.

Though Eve failed, Jesus did not. He faced the three channels of temptation, but did not sin. “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1). It was the Holy Spirit that initiated this challenge. I don’t believe this was a contest that the devil was looking forward to. Jesus showed us the way of escape.

Dr. Neil

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