BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘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 NKJV).
The devil does not have any new tactics; he is still using the same old tactics he used in the Bible. Despite this, human beings still fall victims of his devices. Many keep blaming Adam and Eve for the sin they committed many centuries ago while they do worse things today.
Before you condemn Adam and Eve, ask yourself: would I have done better? Adam and Eve had no opportunity of learning from precedents. Today, we have many examples to learn from in the Bible, and, even in life. Despite this, the devil still deceives many people.
This message is not to condemn Adam and Eve – that is useless. Neither is it to condemn you. It is to analyze this significant event in their lives as recorded in Gen 3:1-13, and highlight their errors, and the lessons that will help us avoid committing the same errors.
1. Eve did not have accurate knowledge of God’s Word. Many times, the devil does not attack your knowledge; he attacks your ignorance! In most cases, he may not attack your strength but your weaknesses. Please note that I didn’t say he attacks your knowledge and weaknesses only. This is because the devil also attacks both our strengths and our knowledge depending on where he thinks he can gain advantage over us. However, in the case of Eve, I notice that Satan attacked her ignorance.
It does seem that Eve did not have accurate knowledge of God’s instruction concerning the fruit. In verse 3, she said God told them not to eat the fruit and not to touch it. God did not say that they should not touch it. (What is even the point touching a fruit you have been warned not to eat?) Inaccurate knowledge can get you to a place in life but it will not get you far or further!
Once the devil knew that she did not have accurate knowledge of God’s instruction to them, the devil could deceive her. It was either Adam did not give her the correct instruction since he was the one God spoke to directly or Eve had forgotten.
How much of the Word of God do you store in your heart? Do you write down God’s instructions to you to meditate upon and obey? The accurate knowledge of God’s Word will help you overcome the temptations of the devil. Keep the Word of God in your heart so that you won’t sin against Him (Ps 119:11).
2. Eve believed the devil more than she believed God. Eve believed more what a visitor to the garden (the serpent) said more than what the owner (God) said. This doesn’t make sense.
The serpent told her “You will not surely die” (Gen 3:4b NKJV). However, God had said that they would die. The serpent also told her a different reason God did not want them to eat the fruit: “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” (verse 5 NKJV). There was no reason for Eve to have gone ahead to eat the fruit, contrary to God’s Word, except that he believed the lie of the devil above the truth of God’s Word. Don’t believe a lie! The Bible says Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness (Rom 4:3).
Don’t make a similar mistake of believing the devil’s lie above God’s Word. Never enter into a conversation with the devil! The devil is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). A lie is anything that contradicts the Word of God. It is whatever God has not appointed, ordained or promised.
Don’t let the devil deceive you. Jesus did not allow him. To every twisting of the Word of God he used to tempt him, Jesus replied, “It is written…” Know the Word of God enough to recognize the devil’s lies.
3. Eve wrongly believed that the end justified the means. Eve’s attitude suggested that she believed that disobeying God was not evil provided she realized her desire. This was a great delusion. She was going to disobey God because the devil said once she ate the fruit she would become like God, knowing everything, both good and evil. Disobeying God to receive a promotion the devil promised her she would get! What a deception! This happened because she had already chosen to believe the devil rather than God.
Nothing good and permanent can come out of disobedience. Whatever prosperity or comfort the devil offers you on the platform of disobedience to God may soon turn to misfortune, pain and misery. When you have regard for God’s word, He will have regard for you. Choose to believe God above any man or the devil (Acts 5:29). Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). Jesus, the Son of God, learnt obedience by the things that he suffered (Heb 5:8). Any suffering in the course of obeying God is only for a while and will eventually turn to glory.
4. Eve did not protect her eyes. She satisfied the lust of the eyes. Gen 3:6 says Eve saw that the tree was good for food and was delightful to look at and a tree to be desired; she took of the fruit and ate. She did not keep her eyes away from the fruit God had forbidden them from eating.
How many times have you fallen for Satan’s temptation just because you failed to protect your eyes? Keep your eyes away from sin; keep sin away from your eyes! Don’t underrate the devil, and this does not mean you should overrate him!
David’s sin with Bathsheba started with seeing her nakedness (2 Sam 11:2-3). 1 John 2:16 warns us against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. They do not come from the Father. The lust of the eyes refers to the coveting of the eyes. It means wanting the sinful things our eyes see. Avoid it. Matt 18:9 says, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (NKJV). That, of course, does not mean literally plucking out of one’s eyes!
Be careful what you watch. Your eye is one of the gates to your heart and you need to protect both your eyes and your heart. Matt 5:28 says, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (NKJV). This is the standard for us in this dispensation. Emulate Job, who said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman” (Job 31:1 NLT).
5. Eve walked in the error that more people committing a sin could confer rightness on their action. In Gen 3:6, after eating the fruit against God’s instruction, she gave it to her husband to eat and he ate. That the two of them ate it did not exonerate them from guilt.
Someone does what is wrong and then engages in what I call inverted righteousness, saying, “I’m not the only one; we’re many.” It makes no difference how many committed a sin. A sin is a sin! With God, the majority is not always right. The wicked shall not go unpunished (Prov 11:21). “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent” (Prov 1:10 NKJV). Don’t be deceived to commit a sin because many people are committing it. That is an error.
6. Adam esteemed his wife above God, joining her to do evil. Gen 3:6, 12 shows this. He admitted before God that the wife gave him the forbidden fruit and he ate it. Why did Adam do this? Neither the serpent nor Eve deceived him. 1 Tim 2:14 says, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (NKJV). Adam willingly sinned, despite the fact that he directly received instruction from God on the fruit. Was it a case of love is blind?
Suppose he had refused his wife’s invitation to sin, what would have happened? Could he probably have become an intercessor before God on behalf of the wife?
Eli also made this mistake by preferring his children above God and God took note of this. He judged him, the children and his family (1 Sam 2:29-36).
You’ve done some things similar to this many times. Have you exalted your wife, your children, your boss or your friends above God and His Word? It is the same spirit. The consequence is the same. Those who honor Him, He will honour; those who despise Him, He will despise (1 Sam 2:30). Jesus said whoever denies him before men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God (Luke 12:9).
7. Adam failed to stand for the truth of God’s word. He failed to condemn his wife’s action. Love is not against the truth. What the Bible says is to tell the truth in love (Eph 4:15). But the truth must be told no matter who is involved. Love doesn’t mean pampering your spouse when he or she is going against God’s Word. If you do that, you’re encouraging disobedience of God’s Word. Both of you will regret it later as it happened to Adam and Eve. Open rebuke is better than secret love; faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful (Prov 27:5-6). There is the confrontational side of love. Love covers multitudes of sin (Prov 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8). But it does not engage in cover-up!
8. Adam and Eve failed to repent but employed human wisdom to hide their shame. When the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened and they knew that they were naked, they sewed fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves (Gen 3:7). That was how far their wisdom could take them! How long would that have lasted before it became dry?
Compare the leaves they sewed together to cover themselves to the tunics of skins God made to clothe them (Gen 3:21). The difference showed that they had not become like God as Satan had lied to Eve to believe! Before the fall, Adam’s intelligence was higher than that! He named all the animals without duplicating their names! He wouldn’t have gone for leaves that would wither in just one day.
Only God can cover anyone’s shame after his fall. Your wisdom can’t do it. All you need to do is to repent, throw yourself into His arms and let him restore you. Human wisdom can’t help you. The foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Cor 1:25).
9. They thought they could successfully hide from God. Adam and Eve went to hide from God (Gen 3:8, 10). How could they have thought they could hide from God! Ps 139:12 says “Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You” (NKJV). Adam and Eve thought they could hide from Him.
Jonah, after disobeying God, decided to run away from the Lord! Imagine! He boarded a ship to Tarshish rather than go to Nineveh where God had sent him (Jonah 1:1-13). It was a futile journey. Don’t deceive yourself that you can hide from God. Go to Him and genuinely confess your sins. He’ll forgive you. Surrender to God rather than think you can hide from Him.
10. They engaged in buck-passing instead of admitting their guilt. Adam blamed Eve and, indirectly, blamed God for giving him Eve as wife! Eve blamed the serpent. However, God did not ask the serpent any question. Who knows who the serpent would have blamed? (Gen 3:12-13)
King Saul did the same thing on two occasions. He violated the Word of God and blamed the people (1Sam 13:8-14, 15:20-21). The opposite was the case with David. He didn’t blame anybody for his adultery with Bathsheba. He admitted his guilt (2 Sam12:13).
David also admitted his sin after Joab, the commander of his army, had carried out his order to take a census of the Israelites (2 Sam 24:10). David accepted responsibility for this error. He didn’t blame anybody.
When you blame others, rather than admit your sins, you’re just behaving like Adam and Eve. Face up to your sins; blame nobody. You’ll never get victory over a sin you’re trying to give excuses for.
Conclusion: I encourage you to get rid from your life any of the errors I have highlighted that you are guilty of. If you do, God will be pleased with you, and it shall be well with you in Jesus’ name.
If you’ll like to give your life to Jesus, I urge you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible -teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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