The Garden of Eden was a place of beauty; a place untainted by sin and its crippling, polluting, heartbreaking effects; a place where they could hear and communicate with the voice of God; a place of intimacy with man and of intimacy with almighty God. Everything God created He says is “good.” Adam and Eve’s world was a paradise.
One rule. All Adam and Eve had in the Garden was one rule, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.” [Genesis 2:17] Like a kid left alone with a cookie jar, our first parents started the first rebel-ution against their Heavenly Father.
If Genesis 1–2 was paradise, then Genesis 3 is paradise lost. Through one foolish and rebellious rule breaking act—eating the fruit God had forbidden—Adam and Eve lost their innocence, dignity, home, and relationship with God, “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” [Romans 5:12] How did the Fall of Mankind happen?
The voice of God is the only voice Adam and Eve have know, however, a strange voice enters the Garden. The voice comes from a serpent. The serpent is defined later in Scripture as the “one of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” [Revelation 12:9]. He is a voice filled with lies. Jesus calls him the “the father of lies” [John 8:44]. Satan is sneaky and his first recorded words are deceitful and crafty [3:1]. Satan is no less crafty and deceitful today. How does he deceive with craftiness?
Satan seeks to confuse. His question for Eve was, “Did God actually say?” [3:1]. In other words, “Are you sure that’s what God said?” Eve heard God’s command loud and clear, but the serpent planted doubts in her head. He tries to confuse you too, “Maybe that verse doesn’t really mean what it looks it means. Maybe God doesn’t mean for you to take that literally. Maybe…Maybe…Maybe…” Satan’s strategy is to make you doubt the clear teachings of the Bible.
Satan twists God’s words. Satan puts words in God’s mouth, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Nope. God did not say that! God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree of the garden—except the one [2:16–17]. Satan makes God look like a bully. Satan will says things like, “God won’t care if you take just one look. It won’t hurt anyone.” Or, “If it’s fun, why would it be bad?” Remember, God is good and Satan twists.
Satan comforts your conscience despite the consequences. He tries to ease the idea of actual consequences, “You will not surely die!” [3:4]. It is as if Satan is saying, “God’s not going to kill you over a small bite. Eating that apple is not a big deal. Go ahead. You know he will forgive and forget.” He is essentially saying God is a liar, but Jesus says that Satan is the liar [John 8:44]. This is where man needs to make a choice—believe God or not? God speaks the truth, “the wages of sin is death” [Rom. 6:23].
Satan speaks enough truth to make sin sound tasty. There is enough truth in Satan’s statement, “God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [3:5]. Satan is making sin sound so freeing. Satan promised Adam and Eve freedom, instead they received guilt [3:7]. Sin’s promises are like a mirage that never appears. They were fooled into thinking they would be like God, instead they found themselves hiding from God [3:8–10]. Satan fell to pride and he knows mankind is just as foolish. Today, we view pride as a virtue and submission to authority as a weakness. The world says, “Do want you want. Do what makes you feel good. Go for it. Live you best life now. Be proud of yourself. Have more self-esteem.” All the while Satan has you heart bait-and-switched on yourself.
It is important to note that God created the smart-mouthed serpent, Satan. What you do not hear in Genesis, but is explained later in the Scripture is that Satan and 1/3 of all the angels of heaven who sided their allegiance with Satan’s ego-trip rebellion against God were cast out of heaven. Satan is not co-equal with God, over God, or in some cosmic battle of good and evil with God. God has no match; He has no equal, nor is there anyone like Him. God has Satan on a tight leash and Satan knows it. Satan, like mankind is a created being and is dependent upon God like all for God’s creation, however he has been around a while and knows the sinful ways of man, which makes him very smart and more experienced in the ways of sin than you. Be careful what voice you listen to. Make sure the voice matches the character of God.