The Pair Are Tempted into Sin: Part 4 of 6 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
God tested the obedience of our first parents by forbidding them the tree of knowledge, but Satan, who opposes God on every issue, undertakes to seduce them into a transgression; and here is how he prevailed—GOD PERMITTED IT FOR WISE AND HOLY ENDS.
Satan won the victory over Eve’s imagination and feelings; and the fall of Eve was soon followed by the fall of Adam. The history of every temptation, and of every sin, is the same; the outward object of attraction, the inward commotion of mind, the increase and triumph of passionate desire; ending in the degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul—“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16; NKJV). All that enters into the aspirations and purposes of those who live for this life may be included under the following things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
The woman was deceived by the tempter’s crafty argument, and she was the ringleader in the crime—“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:14; KJV). It was the sin of Eve that brought sin into the world. Now every time a woman bears a child, she brings a sinner into the world—that is all she can bring into the world. But Mary brought the Lord Jesus, the Savior into the world. So how are women saved? By childbearing—because Mary brought the Savior into the world. Don’t ever say that woman brought sin into the world, unless you are prepared to add that woman also brought the Savior into the world. My friend, no man provided a Savior: a woman did. However, each individual woman is saved by faith, the same as each man is saved by faith. She is to grow in love and holiness just as a man is.
THE TREE WAS GOOD FOR FOOD—the fruit appeared to be wholesome and nutritious, and it was pleasant to the eyes. The beauty of the fruit tended to whet and increase the appetite; and it was a tree to be desired to make one wise, which was an additional motive to please the palate.
and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
All of the fruit-trees with which the Garden of Eden was planted were pleasant to the sight and good for food—“And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” The rest of the verse is—“The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:9; NKJV). These are mentioned separately, and may not have been “pleasant to the sight;” and they certainly were NOT “good to eat;” except in her eye, these were like all the rest. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil seemed as good for food as any of them, and she saw nothing in the color of its fruit that suggested death or danger. It was as pleasant to the sight as any of them, and therefore, "What harm could it do them? Why should its fruit be forbidden when none of the other fruit was forbidden?’’ Beware! When there is thought to be no more harm in forbidden fruit than in other fruit sin lies at the door, and Satan soon wins the day. Perhaps it seemed to her (after being won over by Satan) to be better for food, better tasting, and more nourishing to the body, than any of the rest, and to her eye it was more pleasing than any. Many men and women have been deceived by an excessive and unwarranted desire to have their senses gratified. It could be that this tree had nothing to make it more inviting than the rest, and yet it was made more desirable than the others merely because it was prohibited. There is no evidence that Eve felt that way, even though this point of view may be found in you and I (that is, in our flesh, in our corrupt nature)—We desire what is prohibited.
This is still step 1 on the pathway to sin—she SAW IT WAS PLEASANT TO THE EYES AND GOOD FOR FOOD.
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
When the woman looked at the tree, she saw that it was A TREE TO BE DESIRED. Her second step on the pathway to sin was DESIRE. Sight alone is no crime; but to desire that, which we have innocently seen, if it cannot be ours, is sin. “You shall not covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (Deut 5:21; NKJV). “Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone…But each
one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:13-14; NKJV). “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world…And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17; NKJV).
Eve imagined more good features in this tree than in any of the rest, and she concluded that it was not only a tree NOT to be dreaded, but A TREE TO BE DESIRED TO MAKE ONE WISE, and in that it outshined all the rest of the trees. This is what she perceived and understood from what the devil had said to her; and some think that she saw the serpent eat fruit from that tree, and that he told her he had gained the faculties of speech and reason from the fruit. She inferred from this that this fruit had the power to make one wise, and was led to think, "If it made a brute creature rational, it just might make a rational creature divine?’’ This shows how the desire for pointless knowledge, under the mistaken notion that it is wisdom, is harmful and destructive to many. Our first parents, who knew so much, did not know this—THAT THEY KNEW ENOUGH or all they needed to know. Christ is a tree to be desired to make one wise:
• “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3; KJV).
• “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30; KJV).
Let us feed upon him by faith, so that we may be wise unto 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 mean time, not involve ourselves in things too high or too deep for us, or desire to be wise above what is written.
Notice that the appeal the serpent made is quite an interesting one. It was an appeal to the flesh—“THE TREE WAS GOOD FOR FOOD”—but that is not all; that is not the thing that is really important. “IT WAS PLEASANT TO THE EYES”—it was an appeal to the psychological part of man, to his mind. “AND A TREE TO BE DESIRED TO MAKE ONE WISE”—this is an appeal to the religious side of man. You will find that this is the exact temptation that Satan brought to the Lord Jesus in the wilderness (see Matt. 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4). First of all, he said to our Lord, “Make these stones into bread”—this was the appeal to the flesh, like the tree was good for food. Then Satan showed the Lord the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Him—that was an appeal to the mind, as was the tree was pleasant to the eyes. Then finally he said, “Cast Yourself down from the temple”—this was an appeal to the religious side of man, like the tree was to be desired to make one wise. I do not think that the Devil has changed his tactics today. He uses the same tactics with you and me, and the reason that he still uses them is that they work. He hasn’t needed to change his tactics, since we all seem to fall for the same line.
John wrote: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). “The lust of the flesh”—that is, the tree was good to eat. “The lust of the eyes”—the tree was good to look at. “The pride of life”—the tree was to be desired to make one wise. These things are not of the Father, but of the world. Jesus said that these sins of the flesh come out of the heart of man, way down deep. This is where Satan is making his appeal. This is the method that he is using in order that he might reach in and lead mankind astray. And he succeeded. They were told that they would know good and evil—and what happened? We now have the results—the fall of man.
she took of the fruit thereof,
Eve’s third step on the pathway to sin occurred when SHE TOOK OF THE FRUIT THEREOF, AND DID EAT. She had already sinned by coveting that which was not to be coveted; but she made her sin worse by indulging, by taking that which was not rightfully hers according to the prohibition of God. Desiring the forbidden fruit was secret sin; taking and eating the fruit was “in your face” and active sin.