When the spotlight was turned on Eve in Genesis 3, and God asked her “What is this you have done?” Eve’s response was “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
While Eve certainly does not get off the hook by simply blaming her actions on the serpent, there is indeed some truth to her statement. Eve truly was deceived, for surely she would not have sinned if she had only known what the outcome would be. The serpent had not been honest in his dealings with Eve. He had emphasized what was desirable about the fruit while leaving out that part about getting kicked out of the garden, into a world of painful childbirth and backbreaking labor.
In John 8:44, Jesus describes that serpent like this:
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
- The simple fact of the matter is that any and every time you and I are tempted to sin, we are at risk of being deceived.
- He will deceive us by hiding from our hearts the truth about the ripple effects that our sin could have months or years from now on those that we love.
- He will deceive us by emphasizing to us the short term gratification we can experience while hiding the long term costs.
- He will deceive us by denying that the behavior in question is even sinful in the first place.
- He will deceive us by telling us that no one can see what we are doing, as if God Himself could not see, or as if that fact made our actions less somehow less sinful.
- He will deceive us by telling us that some particular sin is necessary to make us more relatable to the world so that we can witness to worldly people.
- He will deceive us by not really telling us anything but simply distracting us from the whole internal debate by some distraction such as mealtime or television.
- He will deceive us by encouraging us to place all of the blame onto someone else who “made us do it.”
- He will deceive us in many other ways. As diverse as our situations and personalities are, so diverse are his techniques.
But remember this my friends, temptation places us in danger of deception! Deception leads us to make decisions that we would not make if we were thinking clearly. In times of temptation, “trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)” When our hearts or minds suffer from temporary impairment from temptation, may we rely on God’s unchanging and eternal words of truth. When the deceptiveness of the temptation passes, we will be glad that we did.