Black Week - in Eden (continued)
He would engage in a friendly conversation with her in which he would hide his diabolical motive behind the smoke screen of an apparently innocent question. He would aim his poisonous dart at the very heart of God Himself by a question that both garbles and scoffs at the truth of God's Word.
Genesis 3:1: Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? That question! Oh, the immeasurable depths of its cunning! The subtlety of its psychology. Oh, the venom of his hate of God in the serpent's fang! "Hath God said?" Is it really true that God has given any such unreasonable, arbitrary command? Which in quoting he twists in such a manner as to exaggerate the one exception, and to minimize the gracious prodigality of His provision. God had said: "Of every tree freely eat." Of only one tree "thou shalt not eat." But he must go further and deeper. He must destroy confidence in God's goodness. So again he puts the question with a different emphasis.
"Hath God said?" An apostate is always a scoffer. Here the tempter turns scoffer. Is it possible that your God has placed such a restriction upon you? That He has denied you the right to self-expression? That He has put such a limitation upon your free will? That He would keep you from anything in a garden over which He has given your husband the dominion? Is such a God truly good? Is He worthy of your loyalty?
Oh, the implications of that question! The subtlety of that appeal! It is an out-and-out appeal to self-love; to self-pleasing, yes, the deadliest appeal of all - to self-pity. "The serpent was more subtle; the serpent beguiled me." He doesn't push the question nor force an answer. He has instilled doubt both as to the authenticity of God's Word and to the very character of God. He just lets it do its deadly work. He allows time for Eve to turn it over and over in her mind that the undermining of her confidence in God's Word and in God Himself may begin to work.
"And the woman said unto the serpent." Eve's first mistake was in ever listening to any word that in the slightest way discredited God's Word and cast a shadow of doubt upon God Himself. But her greatest and fatal mistake was in conversing with such a one. She should have treated his question with abhorrence and in godly fear turned from such a tempter. Those who would be kept from harm must keep out of harm's way.
Proverbs 19:27: Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
The virus of the satanic poison has already begun its work in her mind, as is evidenced by three things in her reply. She, too, minimizes God's matchless grace in His prodigal provision for their every need, and the unlimited freedom given them within the circle of His Will, by her omission of the word "freely". She, too, exaggerates the one prohibition by adding words God never said: "Neither shall ye touch it." Then she said the most dangerous thing of all. She lessened and, by so doing, minimized the severity of God's penalty upon disobedience to His Word when she said: "Lest ye die." She wavered as to the actual fulfillment of such a penalty. This was doubt as to the integrity of His Word. That was bait for the devil's hook. It was precisely the advantage satan sought and he quickly and adroitly seized upon it by boldly and blatantly denying God's Word.
(continued with # 16)