Lesson 5. Temptation, Disobedience, Fall: Hey Don’t Eat That!

 

Hello and welcome back, students, pastors, and church leaders, to another enlightening and exciting online lesson at Scope Bible School. As we embark on Lesson 5 this December (the month of celebrating our Lords’ birth), let’s take a moment to recap our current position in the journey we’ve undertaken so far through our amazing narrative through the Salvation History Timeline, exploring pivotal events in the Bible in chronological order. We concluded Lesson 4 by pondering a crucial question: How would man, represented by Adam and Eve, in the course of his life-time in the Garden of Eden, respond to God’s simple but serious instruction concerning the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Tree 2)?

Now, as we move forward in our exploration of biblical history, if you encounter challenges with the terms Salvation History Timeline and Chronological Order, I encourage you to revisit Lessons 1 & 3 for a comprehensive understanding.

Complex terms used in this lesson are underlined and defined in the Dictionary section at its end.

This lesson is set around 4004 BC and focuses on the fall of Man.

Reference scripture: Genesis 3:1-7- NIV

1 Now the serpent was more cunning (crafty) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

5 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.”

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.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

 

Part A: Analysis of the Serpent and its Character traits.

Verse 1

Serpent/snake: The word serpent encompasses four Hebrew meanings and two Greek meanings, but they all generally point to the following synonyms: crawling thing (Deut. 32:24), worm, snake, dragon, vipers. (Click to see serpent/snake species).

Task 1: From the pictures above, in your local language write down names of any 4 of the snakes you can identify. Do this in your notebook.

The serpent/snake in our reference scripture passage above is seen to have the following abilities/characters:

(1) Craftiness/Cunningness: The Hebrew word (arum עָרוּם) for craftiness sounds similar as the Hebrew word (aerom or arom עָרוֹם) in Genesis 2:25, for nakedness. The arum (craftiness) of the serpent made man to sin so that he was ashamed of his aerom/arom (nakedness)!

Cunningness/craftiness is the quality of being clever, sly, and highly skilled at deceit or manipulation. A cunning/crafty person is skilled at using clever strategies and tactics to achieve their goals, especially when those goals involve outsmarting or tricking others. Craftiness may involve a combination of intelligence, resourcefulness, subtlety, delicacy, precision, or the ability to convey something in a way that is not immediately obvious or noticeable in navigating situations to one’s advantage, sometimes with a degree of guile.

Lucifer the devil, in this passage, uses the above skill of the serpent as a tool to undermine trust and manipulate Eve’s perception of God’s command. By insinuating doubt and subtly questioning the validity of God’s instructions, the cunning serpent seeks to persuade Eve to act contrary to divine guidance. The serpent’s skillful manipulation is a key element in its strategy to entice and deceive man. One of the strategic tactics that the serpent uses is approaching Eve instead of Adam, and here are some of the probable reasons:

  1. Eve’s inclination to engage in conversation might show that she is more communicative and expressive (talkative just as most women are!), rendering her a susceptible target for the serpent’s cunning persuasion.
  2. The serpent might have perceived an opportunity in approaching Eve, who potentially did not receive the direct command from God regarding abstaining from the Tree of Knowledge.
  3. Approaching Eve would undermine the authority established by God to man to rule over all creation together with his wife, ultimately contributing to a breakdown in the relationship between Adam and Eve. Henceforth, men have always been blaming women for causing them to sin and all suffering. This was Lucifer’s plan.

 

(2) Ability of speech: The serpent could speak the language of man. No other creature is mentioned as having this linguistic ability. Additionally, numerous ancient legends attribute qualities of long life, healing, and wisdom to snakes. Given their perceived wisdom and, of course, craftiness, it is more likely that the serpent ventured to learn the language of humans.

Setting aside folklore, various Biblical theories have aim to elucidate and attempt to explain the two characteristics above.

Some theories suggest that the devil himself endowed the serpent with the power and ability of speech (and this would make a study of Lucifer’s conter-Blueprint also interesting).  Alternatively, certain others propose that Lucifer, the Devil, assumed the guise of a serpent, one of God’s creations.

For a comprehensive exploration, we will study Matthew Henry’s theory (from Matthew Henry’s Commentary, 1991), which provides a fair, balanced and both-sides-of-the-coin examination of both perspectives.

 

Matthew Henry’s theory:

*It was the devil in the likeness of a serpent. Whether it was only the visible shape and appearance of a serpent (as the rods of Aaron and the Egyptians that were seen to be changing into snakes by supernatural power in Exod 7:12), or whether it was a real living serpent, actuated and possessed by the devil, is not certain (by God’s permission it might be either). The devil chose to act his part in a serpent,

(1.) Because it is a specious creature, has a spotted dappled skin, and then went erect. Perhaps it was a flying serpent, which seemed to come from on high as a messenger from the upper world, one of the seraphim; for the fiery serpents were flying (Isa 14: 29). Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in happy fine colours that are but skin-deep, and seems to come from above; for Satan can seem an angel of light.

And, (2.) Because it is a subtle creature; this is here taken notice of. Many instances are given of the subtlety of the serpent, both to do mischief and to secure himself in it when it is done. We are directed to be wise as serpents. But this serpent, as actuated by the devil, was no doubt more subtle than any other; for the devil, though he has lost the sanctity, retains the sagacity of an angel, and is wise to do evil. He knew more advantages of making use of the serpent than we are aware of. Observe, There is not an thing by which the devil serves himself and his own interest more than by unsanctified subtlety. What Eve thought of this serpent speaking to her we are not likely to tell, she herself did not know what to think of it. At first, perhaps, she supposed it might be a good angel, and yet, afterwards, she might suspect something amiss. It is remarkable that the Gentile idolaters did many of them worship the devil in the shape and form of a serpent, thereby avowing their adherence to that apostate spirit, and wearing his colours.*

 

Task 2: Do a google search about the different theories that explain the character of this serpent. In the search tab you can type: The different theories that explain the character of the snake in Genesis 3. Discuss your answers with a Bible Study friend.

From the various theories you have come across and whichever one proves more accurate than the other as you have discussed, what is most important to note is that Lucifer the devil manipulated the serpent’s abilities and character. Whether these abilities were granted by God at creation or bestowed later by Lucifer to serve his mission, the key focus is on how these traits were used to initiate an interaction with man. As discussed in Lesson 2, this interaction was intended to undermine and ultimately disrupt the destiny of man.

 

Part 2: Analysis of the Serpent’s Mind-Game!

In this analysis of the Eve-serpent dialogue, we break down piecemeal, with careful attention and meticulous detail the psychological manipulation aspects that the serpent employs to play mind games with Eve, eventually leading her to partake of the forbidden fruit. The crafty serpent skillfully uses cunning tactics, sowing doubt and enticing thoughts to influence Eve’s decision. This subtle form of persuasion proved effective, as Eve yielded to the temptation and consumed the fruit. Subsequently, Adam, succumbed. This narrative underscores the potency of persuasive techniques and highlights the vulnerability of human psychology to subtle influences.

 

  1. Verse 1: ‘Did God really say ‘you must not eat of any tree in the garden?’

The word-play in this question resembles that which detectives employ when interrogating murder suspects—staring intently with unyielding eyes, a sly grin, and creating an atmosphere of tension and malevolence. Doesn’t it? The purpose behind this wordplay is solely to provoke the suspect, inducing hesitation, stammers and mistakes in their response. Consequently, this sets the stage for self-incrimination through the subsequent line of questioning. Consider this interrogation between imaginary Detective Anderson and suspect Johnson.

Detective Anderson: Let’s talk about your phone records, shall we? It seems you made a call right around the time of the incident. Who were you chatting with, Mr. Johnson? A partner in crime, perhaps?

Suspect Johnson: It was my mom, okay? What’s the big deal?

Detective Anderson: A call to Mom during a pivotal moment? That’s quite the alibi. But here’s where it gets interesting. Your mom mentioned you were out shopping for groceries. Now, I have to wonder, were you buying the ingredients for an alibi or something more sinister?

Suspect Johnson: This is insane. I need a lawyer.

Detective Anderson: Lawyers can’t fix a guilty conscience, Mr. Johnson. Now, tell me, how does it feel knowing your words might be as tangled as the web you’ve woven for yourself?

In that stage of questioning, if Johnson lacks certainty about his facts, he might unwittingly provide answers that could ultimately result in being sent to jail, regardless of his innocence. If this feels familiar, you can empathize with the kind of dilemma Eve found herself into.

The question presented to her is a cleverly disguised trap, posed in a seemingly casual manner that obscured its true nature. Despite sounding nonchalant, it has a hidden agenda; it is leading somewhere. Why? Because God’s command did not prohibit eating from all the trees in the garden. Come to think of it; fruits from trees of this garden were Adam and Eve’s only food! And the serpent had seen them eating of these fruits daily; for at this point they had not started eating from the flesh of animals. Moreover, it’s quite suspicious why the serpent would initiate a conversation about the trees in the garden from this particular angle. As a matter of fact, why is this conversation particularly about trees, and not about animals, or the rivers that water the garden, or about why Eve’s husband named it serpent? One answer settles this: the devil is cunning, twisted and very wise; we should not mistake him for a daft fellow! And from Lesson 2, we know what he is aiming at. Yeah, right: the Kingdom!

Matthew Henry puts it this way:

*’He said to the woman…has God said, You shall not eat?’

The first word (‘has God…’) intimated/referred to something said before (by God), introducing this (the question ‘…that you shall not eat…?’), and with which it is connected, perhaps with the doubt that Eve had with herself, which Satan took hold of, and grafted this question upon. In the chain of thoughts, one thing strangely brings in another, and perhaps something bad at last. Observe here that:

[1.] He does not discover his design at first, but puts a question which seemed innocent, something as cool and casual like “Hi, Eve. I hear a piece of news, pray is it true? has God forbidden you to eat of this tree?” Thus he would begin a discourse (conversation), and draw her into a parley. Please, learn that those that would be safe have need to be suspicious, and shy of talking with the tempter.

[2.] He quotes the command fallaciously, as if it were a prohibition, not only of that tree, but of all. God had said, ‘Of every tree you may eat, except one.’  He, by aggravating the exception, endeavours to invalidate the concession: ‘Has God said, You shall not eat of every tree?’

Please, learn that God’s command cannot be reproached unless it be first misrepresented.

[3.] He seems to speak it tauntingly, upbraiding the woman with her shyness of meddling with that tree; as if he had said, “Oh, my Eve. You are so nice and cautious, and so very precise, because God has said, You shall not eat.”

The devil, as he is a liar, so he is a scoffer, from the beginning: and the scoffers of the last days are his children.

[4.] That which he aimed at in the first onset was to take off her sense of the obligation of the command. “Surely you are mistaken, it cannot be that God should tie you out from this tree; he would not do so unreasonable a thing.” See here, that it is the subtlety of Satan to blemish the reputation of God’s commandment as uncertain or unreasonable, and so to draw people to sin; and that it is therefore our wisdom to keep up a a firm belief of, and a high respect for, the command of God.

For instance if the devil asks: ‘Has God said, “You shall not lie, nor take his name in vain, nor be drunk,”‘ etc.? reply this way, “Yes, I am sure he has, and it is well said, and by his grace I will abide by it, whatever the tempter suggests to the contrary.”*

 

  1. Verses 2 & 3: ‘We may eat from the trees…but that tree in the middle of the Garden.’

The woman (Eve) correctly states the interpretation of the command God gave them in Gen 2:16 (Refer to Lesson 4), but only half way. Why? She does not mention the name of the tree, for there are two trees in the garden. So which exact one are you meaning, dear Eve?

 

  1. ‘You must not touch it, or you will die’:

Seriously, Eve! Did you just say that? Did God really say that to you guys? Your answer is correct and good to hear, but it has two problems.

The woman’s statement misquotes and modifies God’s original command by both omission and addition. Firstly, the statement goes beyond what God instructed Adam, and short on the repercussion of disobeying; instead of saying “on the day you will eat you will die,” she simply says “you will die.” Big difference! Secondly, God had not mentioned anything about not touching the tree (recall what we learned in Lesson 4?).

It appears that Adam gave Eve altered instructions, extending beyond–but somewhere short of–what God said. This might have been motivated by Adam’s concern and fear that if Eve merely touched the tree, she could be tempted to pick a fruit and take a bite. We don’t know what other ‘bonus’ instructions Adam might have given Eve; he might have instructed her to distance herself while approaching the tree, run fast past it; avert her gaze or cover her eyes while passing by, or even sing “don’t eat, don’t eat” whenever she neared it. One thing to learn here: in our pursuit to avoiding sin, we often rely on our own strategies and plans. However, the key lies in trusting the Holy Spirit within us, who fulfills the will of scripture in our lives (Gal 5:16). Attempting to navigate a sinful world independently is like walking in the dark without a guiding light. We are warned not to alter God’s word Scripture (Prov. 30:5-6) which is described as a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105). By trusting the Holy Spirit and holding fast to God’s teachings, we find the clarity and strength needed to confidently navigate a world tainted by sin, avoiding its pitfalls.

It’s also possible that Eve exaggerated the command, influenced by Satan’s temptation to portray God as selfish and excessively restrictive.

Also possible is that Adam initially gave Eve accurate and correct instructions, but over time, the precise wording of these instructions may have faded in her memory. This highlights the importance of revisiting and regularly reading God’s word. Talk of taking too long to read God’s word, making us forget its correctness and thus we consequently start acting based on assumptions and speculations.

Matthew Henry says:

*In answer to this question the woman gives him a plain and full account of the command they were under. Here observe that:

[1.] It was her weakness to enter into discourse with the serpent. She might have perceived by his question that he had no good intentions, and should therefore have replied instantly with a Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence to me. But her curiosity, and perhaps her surprise, to hear a serpent speak, led her into further talk with him. Note, it is a dangerous thing to treat with a temptation, which ought at first to be rejected with disdain and abhorrence. The garrison that sounds a parley is not far from being surrendered. Those that would be kept from harm must keep out of harm’s way (Prov. 14: 7; 19 27).

[2.] It was her wisdom to take notice of the liberty God had granted them, in answer to his sly insinuation (assumption), as if God has put them into paradise only to tantalize them with the sight of fair but forbidden fruits.

“Yea,” she said, “we may eat of the fruit of the trees, thanks to our Maker, we have plenty and variety enough allowed us.”

Note, to prevent our being uneasy at the restraints God, it is good often to take a view of the liberties and comforts of it.

[3.] It was an instance of her resolution that she adhered to the command, and faithfully repeated it, as of unquestionable certainty: “God has said, I am confident he has said it, You shall not eat of the fruit of this tree;” and that which she adds, Neither shall you touch it, seems to have been with a good intention, not (as some think) tacitly to reflect upon the command as too strict (Touch not, taste not and handle not), but to make a fence about it: “We must not eat, therefore we will not touch. It is forbidden in the highest degree, and the authority of the prohibition is sacred to us.”

[4.] She seems a little to waver about the repercussions of eating from the tree, and is not so particular and faithful in the repetition of that as of what God had commanded. Though God had said, ‘In the day that you eat from it you shall surely die’; the only point she saw in that is the ‘Lest you die’ part.

Note that wavering faith and wavering resolutions give great advantage to the tempter.*

 

  1. Verses 4 and 5: ‘You will not certainly die. God knows…your eyes will be open…knowing and evil’

The serpent deceives once more by referencing God’s words from Genesis 2:17 and negating them by adding a ‘not.’ In a manner similar to what Satan did in his conversation with God about Job (Job 1:9-11), the serpent here accuses God of selfish motives. The serpent, recognizing the woman’s confusion and uncertainty on facts, found a point of vulnerability to attack. Aware that the woman wouldn’t die by merely touching the fruit, he quickly and boldly contradicts what she had said was God’s command.

Indeed, if she were to touch the fruit—just to examine it to see if anything would happen—before taking a bite, she would contradict her own statement and shamefully disprove herself before the serpent. She would also disprove whoever gave her the instructions (presumably Adam), and, by extension, whoever gave those instructions to Adam (God). For she did not die by touching, and so it logically followed that neither would she die by eating of it. However, if at the back of her mind she was aware that she had falsely included the touch clause, she would feel compelled to proceed with eating. This would be to avoid embarrassment in the presence of the serpent, as she had inadvertently revealed her ignorance of the true command.

On the other hand, if she had been innocently misinformed about the touch clause or had genuinely forgotten, she would still proceed to eat, convinced that indeed God had lied. So, either way the serpent would win! The game-plan was astutely devised and shrewdly well calculated. The potential saving factor, when Eve’s poor reasoning was seeming to prevail over her, would be a resolute voice from Adam strongly rebuking her: ‘Hey, don’t eat that!’ That voice did not come. Sadly.

Matthew Henry says:

*By assuring Eve that “You shall not die” the serpent denies that there was any danger in eating from the fruit, insisting that, though it might be an act of disobedience of God’s command,  it would not be the cause of a penalty like death. So in essence God is a liar!

The assumption that the devil is planting in Eve’s mind is:

Either (1.) “It is not certain that you shall die. It is not so sure as you are made to believe it is.”

Thus Satan endeavours to shake that that which he cannot overthrow, and invalidates the force and gravity of the repercussion of disobeying’s command. He does by by questioning their certainty; and, once it is thought possible that there may be falsehood or fallacy in any word of God, a door is then opened to downright disobedience. Satan teaches men first to doubt, then to deny and then finally to disobey; he makes them sceptics first, and eventually in slow steps makes them atheists.

Or, (2.) “It is certain you shall not die,” The serpent avers his contradiction with the same phrase of assurance that God had used in ratifying the command. He began to cast aspersions on the command (verse 1), but, finding that the woman adhered to that (somehow), he tactfully and quickly quit that line, and made his second onset upon the command that God gave to man, and in this he intended for her to waver; for he is quick to spy and take advantage of opportunities, and to attack the wall where it is weakest.

‘You shall not surely die.’  This was a lie, a downright lie; for,

[1.] It was contrary to the word of God, which we are sure is true (see 1 John 2: 21, 27). It was such a bad lie that made God look like He is the liar.

[2.] It was contrary to his own knowledge. When he told Eve there was no danger in disobedience and rebellion he said that which he knew, by woeful experience, to be false. He had broken the law of his creation while still in heaven, and had found, to his cost, that he could not prosper in it; and yet here he is assuring Eve that they shall not die. He concealed/hid his own misery of being sent awy from Heaven, and his intention of drawing them into the same misery, and in the same way he still deceives sinners into their own ruin. He tells them that, though they sin, they shall not die; he gains this credit rather away from God, who tells them that the wages of sin is death.

Note, hope of impunity is a great support to all iniquity, and impenitency in it. It is dangerous when one says ‘I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart’ (Deut 29: 19).*

 

  1. Verse 6: ‘When the woman saw that the fruit was…good for food… pleasing to the eye…desirable for gaining wisdom’

These 3 phrases explore the attributes of the fruit that make Eve magnetized to eating it. The serpent’s sweet, compelling and persuasive words successfully enticed Eve to closely examine the subject of discussion—the fruit. They drew her attention to the fruit in a way that she had never done. Having won her mind, the fruit now has the task of captivating her soul. And what an easy task it is! It is safe to assume here that the devil himself plumbs into her mind and entangles the wires of her thoughts, painting an exaggerated picture of the beauty of the fruit as she gazes at it, a picture that resonated with the most intense universal desires of the human heart (1 John 2:16, Luke 4:3):

(1). Good to eat: All the foods in the garden are good and palatable, but the woman’s mind, stirred by curiosity, has been tickled and tricked into adventure mode. She is perceiving what God had said was ‘not good’ as ‘good’.

(2). Pleasing to the eye:  This feeling is engineered and orchestrated by the words of the serpent. The term pleasing (chamad “חָמַד” in Hebrew) is evident in Numbers 11:4, where the Israelites craved for “meat” despite having sufficient manna, which was already good.

(3). Desirable: The Hebrew term desirable (hamad חָמַד in Hebrew) means covet– that is, harboring strong want. In the Old Testament during the giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 17, Deut 5:21) the word is used to forbid desiring what belongs to others.

Matthew Henry says:

*We have here the inducements that moved them to transgress. The woman, being deceived by the tempter’s artful management, was ringleader in the transgression (1 Tim 2 14).

She was first in the fault; and it was the result of her consideration, or rather her inconsideration. 1. She saw no harm in this tree, more than in any of the rest. It was said of all the rest of the fruit-trees with which the garden of Eden was planted that they were pleasant to the sight, and good for food, ch. 2 9. Now, in her eye, this was like all the rest. It seemed as good for food as any of them, and she saw nothing in the colour of its fruit that threatened death or danger; it was as pleasant to the sight as any of them, and therefore, “What hurt could it do them? Why should this be forbidden them rather than any of the rest?” Note, when there is thought to be no more harm in forbidden fruit than in other fruit sin lies at the door, and Satan soon carries the day. Nay, perhaps it seemed to her to be better for food, more grateful to the taste, and more nourishing to the body, than any of the rest, and to her eye it was more pleasant than any. We are often betrayed into snares by an inordinate desire to have our senses gratified. Or, if it had nothing in it more inviting than the rest, yet it was the more coveted because it was prohibited. Whether it was so in her or not, we find that in us (that is, in our flesh, in our corrupt nature) there dwells a strange spirit of contradiction. Nitimur in vetitum—We desire what is prohibited. 2. She imagined more virtue in this tree than in any of the rest, that it was a tree not only not to be dreaded, but to be desired to make one wise, and therein excelling all the rest of the trees. This she saw, that is, she perceived and understood it by what the devil had said to her; and some think that she saw the serpent eat of that tree, and that he told her he thereby had gained the faculties of speech and reason, whence she inferred its power to make one wise, and was persuaded to think, “If it made a brute creature rational, why might it not make a rational creature divine?” See here how the desire of unnecessary knowledge, under the mistaken notion of wisdom, proves hurtful and destructive to many. Our first parents, who knew so much, did not know this—that they knew enough. Christ is a tree to be desired to make one wise, Col 2 3; 1 Cor 1 30. Let us, by faith, feed upon him, that we may be wise to salvation. In the heavenly paradise, the tree of knowledge will not be a forbidden tree; for there we shall know as we are known. Let us therefore long to be there, and, in the meantime, not exercise ourselves in things too high or too deep for us, nor covet to be wise above what is written.*

 

Note: Genesis does not explicitly identify the serpent as satan but the NT describes him as ‘a liar and the father of all liars’ (John 8:44) and as ‘that ancient serpent’ (Rev 12: 9, 20:2).

 

Part 3: Analysis of the Steps to the Fall (Transgression)!

  1. ‘She saw…she took…she ate…gave him…he ate’

The rapid and swift series of these 5 verbs suggests that these actions are unfolding rapidly and uncontrollably: Adam and Eve act so fast, without allowing time for contemplation of the consequences which they know full well.

In failing or neglecting to assert control over the serpent, yet they had been conferred with authority and dominion over even this serpent, the couple betray and disobey God.

It’s noteworthy that the serpent does not take the fruit from the tree to hand it to Eve, as Eve does when he offered it to Adam shortly after. The serpent makes sure that she solely participates in her own action, avoiding direct involvement in the disobedient act and thereby escaping blame. Eve plays a singular role in her own actions.

When the devil induces sin in humans, he consistently ensures that he stays aloof and detached from the whole scene he creates and the dust he raises, intending to justifiably accuse believers before God. So every time we sin and feel like the devil had no hand in all that, and that he is completely unrelated, we inadvertently provide him with a point of accusation before God. We ought to recognize and remember that the devil creates all the circumstances, especially in our mind for us to sin. Boy, he sets the stage–behind the scenes–onto which we play in case we fall into sin!

So, taking a broader perspective, what is the purpose of this strategy, and what advantage does it provide for the devil? As discussed in Lesson 2, Lucifer’s intent was to manipulate and utilize man as a stepping stone. This way, when he ultimately seizes his heritage in the kingdom, he will laugh at him and mockingly remind him that he (Lucifer) played no role in his sad fate and troubles. According to Lucifer, whatever transpires in the garden is the result of human folly and not done by him (Lucifer). Talk of drowning in a self-made storm! Yeah. Now you know why he is called the father of all liars.

Matthew Henry says:

*The steps of the Fall, not steps upward, but downward towards the pit—steps that take hold on hell:

  1. She saw: She should have turned her eyes away from beholding vanity; but she enters into temptation, by looking with pleasure on the forbidden fruit. Observe that a great deal of sin comes in at the eyes. At these windows Satan throws in those fiery darts which pierce and poison the heart. The eye affects the heart with guilt as well as grief. Let us therefore, make a covenant with our eyes, to always not look on that which we are in danger of lusting after (Prov. 23 31; Matt 5 28). Let the fear of God always be a covering for our eyes.
  2. 2. She took: It was her own act and deed. The devil did not take it, and put it into her mouth, whether she would or no; but she herself took it. Satan may tempt, but he cannot force; may persuade us to cast ourselves down, but he cannot cast us down (Matt 4:6).

Eve’s taking was stealing, taking that to which she had no right. Surely she took it with a trembling hand.

  1. She did eat. Perhaps she did not intend, when she looked, to take, nor, when she took, to eat; but this was the result. Note, the way of sin is downhill; a man cannot stop himself when he will. The beginning of it is as the breaking forth of water.

Therefore it is our wisdom to suppress the first emotions of sin, and to leave it off before it be meddled with.

  1. She gave also to her husband with her: It is probable that he was not with her when she was tempted (surely, if he had, he would have interposed to prevent the sin), but came to her when she had eaten, and was prevailed upon by her to eat likewise; for it is easier to learn that which is bad than to teach that which is good. She gave it to him, persuading him with the same arguments that the serpent had used with her, adding this to all the rest, that she herself had eaten of it, and found it so far from being deadly that it was extremely pleasant and grateful. Stolen waters are sweet. She gave it to him, under colour of kindness and tenderness—she would not eat this delicious snack alone; but really it was the greatest unkindness she could do him. Or perhaps she gave it to him that, if it should prove hurtful, he might share with her in the misery, which indeed looks strangely unkind, and yet may, without difficulty, be supposed to enter into the heart of one that had eaten forbidden fruit.

Note, those that have themselves done ill, are living sinful lives, and are running downhilll are commonly willing to draw in others to do the same. As was the devil, so was Eve, from a sinner to now a tempter. In an amazingly short a time!

  1. He did eat: Adam was visibly overcome by his wife’s importunity and lures. It is needless to ask, what would have been the consequence if only Eve had disobeyed and sinned?

The wisdom of God, we are sure, would have decided this dilemma and difficulty according to His just character; but, alas! the case was not so; Adam also did eat.

“And what great harm if he did?” say the corrupt and carnal reasonings of a vain mind. What harm! Why, this act involved disbelief of God’s word, together with confidence in the devil’s, discontent with his present state, pride in his own merits, and ambition of the honour which comes not from God, envy at God’s perfections, and indulgence of the appetites of the body. In neglecting the tree of life of which he was allowed to eat, and eating of the tree of knowledge which was forbidden, he plainly showed a contempt of the favours God had bestowed on him, and a preference given to those God did not see fit for him. He would be both his own carver and his own master, would have what he pleased and do what he pleased: his sin was, in one word, disobedience of God (Rom 5 19), disobedience to a plain, easy, and express command, which probably he knew to be a command of trial. He sinned against great knowledge, against many mercies, against light and love, the clearest light and the dearest love that ever sinner sinned against. He had no corrupt nature within him to betray him; but had a freedom of will, not enslaved, and was in his full strength, not weakened or impaired. He turned aside quickly. Some think he fell the very day on which he was made; but I see not how to reconcile this with God’s pronouncing all very good in the close of the day. Others suppose he fell on the sabbath day: the better day the worse deed. However, it is certain that he kept his integrity but a very little while: being in honour, he continued not. But the greatest aggravation of his sin was that he involved all his posterity in sin and ruin by it. God having told him that his race should replenish the earth, surely he could not but know that he stood as a public person, and that his disobedience would be fatal to all his seed; and, if so, it was certainly both the greatest treachery and the greatest cruelty that ever was. The human nature being lodged entirely in our first parents, henceforward it could not but be transmitted from them under an attainder of guilt, a stain of dishonour, and an hereditary disease of sin and corruption.*

 

The plan that the devil devised when he was expelled from heaven—aimed at diverting man from God to himself, manipulating him into constructing his own kingdom, and then abandoning him later—may at this point be at offset, and progressing toward realization.

If this specific endeavor had failed, the devil, in his cunning consistency, would have set another trap at an opportune time (refer to Luke 4:19). He was determined not to abandon his plan of dethroning God from His glorified throne and disrupting His Kingdom Blueprint.

As we conclude our reflections on Adam’s disobedience, a lingering sense of suspense envelops us, leaving us wondering about the unfolding consequences in the wake of this moment. The gravity of Adam’s choice and the disobedience to God’s command evoke questions about divine justice and the fidelity of God’s word. Will there be repercussions for Adam’s disobedience, or does it go unanswered? The narrative compels us to anticipate how God’s justice will manifest, revealing whether this disobedience carries a cost or just slides by.

See you next week. May the Grace of God be with you. Amen.

 

Dictionary

  1. Synonym: A word or phrase that has a similar or identical meaning to another word in the same language. In other words, synonyms are words that can be substituted for one another in a given context without changing the meaning of the sentence. For example, “happy” and “joyful” are synonyms because they convey a similar meaning of experiencing happiness or contentment.
  2. Subtlety: The quality of being subtle, which involves delicacy, precision, or the ability to convey something in a way that is not immediately obvious or noticeable. Subtlety often involves finesse, nuance, or a refined approach that may require a degree of sensitivity or insight to perceive.
  3. Guile: The deceitful cunning or slyness, often involving cleverness and trickery to achieve a specific goal. A person who employs guile is typically skilled at manipulating others through artful and deceptive means. Guile involves a crafty or cunning approach to achieve an objective, and it is often associated with deceitful practices that may not be immediately apparent to those being manipulated.
  4. Discourse: Communication of thought through words; conversation or discussion.
  5. Fallaciously: In a misleading or deceptive manner; based on a fallacy (false reasoning).
  6. Invalidate: To nullify or make something ineffective; to discredit or negate.
  7. Concession: A thing that is granted, usually in response to demands; the act of conceding or yielding.
  8. Disdain: The feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect; contempt.
  9. Abhorrence: A feeling of extreme repugnance or disgust; hatred.
  10. Garrison: A military post or station; the troops stationed in a fortified place.
  11. Parley: A conference or discussion, especially between enemies; to talk or confer.
  12. Tantalize: To torment or tease with the sight or promise of something desirable but out of reach.
  13. Sly: Cunning, deceitful, or secretive in an underhanded way.
  14. Astutely: In a clever or shrewd manner; with insight and intelligence.
  15. Shrewdly: In a sharp, practical, and discerning way; showing good judgment.
  16. Sceptics: Individuals who approach things with doubt and a questioning attitude, especially towards widely accepted beliefs or claims.
  17. Atheists: Individuals who do not believe in the existence of deities or gods.
  18. Ratifying: Formal approval or confirmation of a decision, action, or agreement.
  19. Cast Aspersions: To criticize or disparage someone or something; to attack the reputation or integrity of, or cause doubt.
  20. Impunity: Exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.
  21. Impenitency: Lack of remorse or repentance; refusal to feel regret for one’s wrongdoing.
  22. Inadvertently: Unintentionally or accidentally; without realizing what one is doing.
  23. Folly: Lack of good sense or foolishness; a foolish action, practice, or idea.

5 thoughts on “Lesson 5. Temptation, Disobedience, Fall: Hey Don’t Eat That!”

  1. Ooh my God!!!
    This lesson has been so educative, one of the things I have learned is that:
    We should make covenants with our eyes to always not to look at things which we are in danger of lusting after and we should let the fear of God always cover our eyes.
    Because by looking, we enter into temptations. I wish Eve didn’t look at the forbidden fruit, maybe she wouldn’t have seen that the fruit was good to be eaten 😏😏😏😏😏and maybe she would have been able to overcome the devil’s temptation

  2. Ooo my Goodness,
    It’s been an interesting
    Educative
    And a warnings.
    We must be very careful and know the truth and speak it, the same words that Eve used opened the door for the tempter🤔.

    Keep our eyes
    Keep the word of God as the only truth, don’t be quick to respond.
    U don’t even need to give more time to everything.
    As a person who have been given a command, u need to keep it no matter what, we see the weakness of a man.

    Ooooo God have enjoyed but devil let God judge you.
    Thanks so much our teacher 🙏🙏

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