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Was Eve Charmed Against Her Will or Deceived With Her Cooperation?

Was Eve Charmed Against Her Will or Deceived With Her Cooperation?

By Paul R. Blake

            How could a talking serpent charm Eve into sinning against her will or judgment? After all, God made Himself and His will directly known to them; so how could an ugly talking snake, regardless of how subtle, trick Eve into rebellion against God’s only prohibition?

            Moses does not suggest that the serpent charmed Eve. He asked a question, told a lie, and used a fact out of context; not very convincing arguments for one who has steeled himself against temptation and sin. However, do not lightly dismiss the subtlety of this snake. He deceived Eve by preying on vulnerabilities common to all human beings. He tempted her when she was alone without the reinforcement of Adam who was not deceived (Ecc. 4:9-12). He tempted her in proximity to the tree; she was able to look at it while contemplating his arguments. He initiated his discussion with a question to establish rapport with Eve and ended by pretending to have her best interests at heart. The falsely sympathetic question and the deceptive assurance of a good outcome provided clever cover for the lie he sandwiched in between.

            Yet Eve thought about his words long enough to turn her focus away from God to herself. Note the words of the serpent: “Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?” (Gen. 3:1). “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). The first time the serpent spoke, he asked a question about the source of the prohibition, cleverly pointing out that God was keeping her from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (casting doubt on God’s love… “Is it true that God is keeping some of the wonders of this place from you!?”). His second statement was a lie told by a beast, countering the word of God the Creator of the beast (casting doubt on God’s truth… “Surely you’ve misunderstood what God really meant; you will not die.”). And the third statement of the snake was to point out a truth about God, but to couch it in such a way as to depict God as mean and grasping (casting doubt on God’s goodness… “Do you suppose God is a bit jealous of His knowledge?”). One who is reasoning clearly and unselfishly would quickly dismiss the weak arguments of the creation in favor of the truth offered by the Creator. A deceiver can tempt the weak to sin, but he cannot commit the sin for them.

            But as is now the case with so many professed believers, so it was then that Eve chose to believe what she wanted to believe. She chose the condescending tone and obvious lie of the serpent over the powerful, clearly stated will of God. “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” (Gen. 3:6). This was in spite of the fact that God had said: “…Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).

            The fruit of the tree appealed to every level of her desires, but it must not be forgotten that it was Eve’s desires that sealed her decision to eat, desires that she could have controlled. The fruit appealed to her basic need for food. Often folks excuse sin that is committed to satisfy some need of the physical body claiming that “one must live.” The desire for food and other physical gratifications is not equal to the instinct for self-preservation, and even if it were, such instincts can be controlled for a higher purpose.

            The fruit also appealed to her eyes or her sense of esthetics. It may have been beautiful to look upon, stimulating a desire in her to share in its beauty by partaking of it.

            The fruit appealed to her desire to know more. The serpent told her that eating would make her like a god, and Eve translated this into a conviction that she would become greater than what she was. The fact that she and Adam were free from sin and suffering did not mean that they were completely unaware and unconscious in all things. Eve knew that she lacked the knowledge that would come from partaking of the fruit and wanted to satisfy that void to become greater, in her estimation, than what she was.

            The serpent began the process of tempting her, but she completed it by dwelling on the object of her desire until the desire became inordinate and she surrendered to it. She could have interrupted the process at any point, whether by refusing to listen to the snake dismiss the goodness of God, or by walking away purposing to put his subtle words out of her mind, or by ending her contemplation of the fruit. She chose to sin.

A Moments Wisdom

  • Only those who have the patience to do the simple tasks well, ever acquire the skills to do the difficult tasks easily.
  • Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.
  • Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.
  • Often, it is not the differences between people that cause problems, but rather the indifferences.
  • A pat on the back, though only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, is miles ahead on results.
  • Often, the people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with concern.
  • A good person makes a mistake worthwhile by being big enough to admit it, strong enough to correct it, and intelligent enough to profit from the process.
  • A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.
  • Yesterday’s luxury has become today’s necessity.
  • The world is changed by our examples, not by our opinions.
  • A Mouth -- Every speaker has a mouth; An arrangement rather neat. Sometimes it’s filled with wisdom; Sometimes it’s filled with feet. (Robert Orben)

The Price I Pay for Today

            This is the beginning of a new day; I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want it to be a gain, not a loss; good, not evil; success, not failure, in order that I might not regret the price I paid for today.

Four Things We Can Do With Our Hands:

1) Put our hands in our pockets to keep them safe,

2) Fold them together in apathy,

3) Wring them in despair,

4) Or, lay them on a job that needs doing.

 

Test Your Bible Knowledge of Cities in Acts

1) The city where the church began was __________

2) The second city where the Gospel was preached __________

3) The city where Barnabas needed Saul’s help in preaching _________

4) The city where Paul and Silas were put in prison ________

5) The city where Paul was stoned for preaching _________

6) The city that searched the scriptures daily _________

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3/15/20 AM - “If I Do Not Wash You…”

             PM - Seven Scriptural Crowns

3/22/20 AM - A Godly Man’s Resolve

             PM - Stand Still and Be Quiet

3/29/20 AM - The Bible’s Big Words

             PM - Moment by Moment

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