Beware of Tempter’s Snare
Theme Verses: Vs. 6 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.
There is an old fable or myth, either Italian or German in its origin, which represents the devil as plotting to mar the image of God in man. He forms four successive plans to accomplish his act. First, he proposes to implant the lust of evil in man’s heart. But this plan has the defect that evil will be recognized as such and be repelled. Then he plans to make him a monster of self-love and self-will; but even selfishness will appear to him to be monstrous and hateful. Then Satan plans to distort his moral nature, so that he shall mistake right for wrong and wrong for right. But the difficulty again, is how shall man be so perverted? The fourth plan is a master-device. He will ensnare man by things seemingly innocent—love of dress and temporal goods. Through this he will feed man’s pride and make him the slave of fashion. Man will say all this is not in itself wrong; there can be no wrong save in excess; and, while he is philosophizing, he shall be drawn into excess.
The first two chapters of Genesis project a world in harmony, blessing and goodness. Humanity and natural world coexist in peaceful abundance and delight. Up to this point, God’s Word is the only Word that has been at work, creating and commanding. Satan was perturbed to see the creation of God, especially to notice humans created in God’s image and likeness. How could humans be so close to almighty God as well as with rest of the creation and enjoying all comfort in the garden? Pride and jealousy led Satan to entice and deceive the first couple. In all his craftiness he created doubt in the mind of Eve by placing a question. “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” God’s commandments in Gen. 2:17 were clear and there was no ‘if’ and ‘but.’ To tempt humans, Satan creates doubts in their minds. It is the seed that he wants to sow in people’s hearts against God. It was due to doubt that many Israelites, were kept from seeing the Promised Land (Heb. 3:19). When Jesus was in wilderness (Matthew 4), Satan tried to question Jesus’ identity by putting doubt in His mind by saying, “If You are the Son of God… (vs. 3).” But Jesus conquered satan’s strategy through God’s Word. In the nineteenth century when Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution, he not only challenged biblical literalism but also created doubt in the minds of people about the existence of God. Likewise I have found that many families demolish because of doubts. When we are not careful in listening and obeying the Word of God then doubt easily grows and eventually we lose God’s blessings. In James 1:22 it says: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Doubt is followed by deceit. Satan after creating doubt deceived the woman. All what he said was contrary to the Word of God. By communicating ‘You will not surely die’ Satan assured her nothing will happen even if she disobeys God. Here he replaced God’s will with human will; secondly, when he said, ‘your eyes will be opened’, here he replaced God’s truth and wisdom with human knowledge; lastly by saying ‘you will be like God’ he replaced God with human as ultimate. Satan still continues to deceit people by his words so that they may fulfill their own will, be blinded towards God’s revelation (i.e. Jesus Christ) and exalt themselves as gods. Paul writes, the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (II Corinth. 4:4).
John mentions that through three different ways a person can be tempted: (a) the lust of the flesh, (b) the lust of the eyes, (c) and the pride of life (I John 2:16). Eve yielded to the threefold temptation: the lust of the flesh (good for food), the lust of the eyes (pleasant to the eyes), and the pride of life (a tree desirable to make one wise). By their own desires Adam and Eve committed sin and fell into the trap of death. The glory of God departed and they became spiritually bankrupt. Therefore, we need to be cautious from the satan’s scheme. The best way to escape from temptation is to run to God for security. God through the power of the Holy Spirit has given us the wisdom to discern between right and wrong. We need to walk in the God’s way and continue to focus on Jesus Christ who was tempted like us yet was found without sin. Peter cautioned, be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
Henry F. Lyte