“Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.“ – Genesis 3:14 (NLT).
The serpent, Satan, tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God’s goodness. He implied that God was strict, stingy, and selfish for not wanting Eve to share his knowledge of good and evil. Satan made Eve forget all that God had given her and, instead, focus on what God had forbidden. We fall into trouble, too, when we dwell on what God forbids rather than on the countless blessings and promises God has given us.
Why does Satan tempt us? Temptation is Satan’s invitation to give in to his kind of life and give up on God’s kind of life. Satan tempted Eve and succeeded in getting her to sin. Ever since then, he’s been busy getting people to sin. He even tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).
The enemy is very shrewd and will try to get you to doubt the Word of God just like he did Eve in the Garden of Eden. Notice that “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). See how he is? God never said you cannot eat of any tree in the garden, only the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Today, that old serpent the Devil still attacks on the same two fronts he used to attack Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: the truth of God’s Word (Genesis 3:4) and the goodness of God’s person (Genesis 3:1b, 5). And yet they are both one attack; the enemy wants you to doubt God’s Word because then you’ll doubt God Himself. He will cleverly mix truth with error rendering the truth powerless. To cast doubt on God’s Word is to cast doubt on His character. No wonder the Bible says that he has deceived the whole world: “This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” (Revelation 12:9)
We will never be out of danger; the serpent is always ready to slither beside you and whisper enticing lies in your ear. The Bible and trust in God is our best defense. Romans 8: 12-13 tells us: “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”
So trust God with all your might, know His Word accurately and deeply, and walk daily in submission to His Word.
- Read the narrative of the fall in Genesis 3. What question does the serpent ask? Have you ever rationalized your sin or questioned God’s Word in a similar way? When have you needed an extra measure of faith to obey God?
- Why do you think the temptation of the devil worked?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:13: What does this verse mean to you?
- What steps can we take this week to be better prepared for the temptations of the devil?