Genesis 3 And The Lie Of Satan

Genesis 3 is, in my opinion, one of the most insightful and helpful passages in all of Scripture. Personally, I am often drawn back to its life changing truths so it’s no surprise that it came up in a conversation at our dinner table on Tuesday night. Christine and I have been encouraging our kids to join us in The Crossing’s Bible Reading Plan with the idea that it would foster good family discussions.

You might already know that Genesis 3 records the first sin by any human being but more than that it lays out a paradigm for how Satan, sin, and temptation work to conspire against every person.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

A Few Observations:
1. Satan is crafty (v. 1). His attacks against us are not by physical force but deception. 2 Corinthians 11:3: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

2. Satan attacks God’s character: “Did God really say…” (v. 1). You can hear the feigned disbelief in Satan’s voice. Did God really say that sex is only within marriage? How antiquated. Did God really say to love your enemies? How naive. Did God really say that the last shall be first? If so, he doesn’t know what the real world is like.

3. Satan contradicts God’s word: “You will not certainly die” (v. 4). Now the choice for Eve (and the rest of us) is whether we will believe God’s word or Satan’s? Of course we don’t “hear” Satan’s voice nor does he ever present himself in such obvious ways. Remember he is crafty and came to Eve in the form of a serpent. Satan’s accusations and suggestions usually come to us in the form of our own thoughts or a friend’s voice or something we heard on the radio or read on the internet.

4. Satan uses cynicism to fuel distrust: “For God knows that when you eat of it…” (v. 5). Satan is suggesting that God’s motives are cynical. He tells Eve (and Adam) that God has forbidden this fruit not because he wants to protect them but because he wants to protect himself. He doesn’t want them to be like Him. Satan seductively says that he is taking Adam and Eve in behind the scenes to show them what God is really up to.

5. Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit because she thought that sin was better for her. She didn’t sin out of duty (“I don’t really want this but I guess I should eat it.”). She sinned out of delight (“This fruit looks good and it promises to make me wise and happy.”).

So the battle is set. Will I believe God or Satan? Does God love me and want the best for me or is he keeping me from the “good” life. Will sin bring real and lasting satisfaction and joy or do those things come from obeying God?

May God give us grace to read, understand, and apply his inspired word.

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