“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). We would do well to learn a lesson from the deception of Eve. While Satan is not appearing to us in the form of a serpent, he is still seeking to delude the minds of men from following the simple truth of God’s word (2 Cor. 4:4).
Eve was created from Adam’s rib as a companion for him (Gen. 2:20-24). She was in a beautiful paradise and with her husband who was given the work of tending to the garden (Gen. 2:15). How perfect their situation must have been. She and Adam were only given one simple restriction: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17).
Satan came in the form of a serpent and said to Eve, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). The word “yea” in this question means truly or really. Satan tempts people to ask whether clear spiritual truths are really so. Is there really a God? Will there really be a judgment? Do heaven and hell really exist? Many people skeptically ask these questions today. Their denial of these facts displays their willingness to follow the father of lies (John 8:44). Eve answered the serpent with the simple, plain rule God had mandated and then added, “neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Gen. 3:3). Perhaps she was highlighting how restrictive God was being in this whole ordeal; if so, Satan’s question was already working by impugning God’s goodness and motives. The serpent immediately told Eve a lie, saying, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). Eve would die the day she ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. She and Adam were separated from God that day they ate, sinning and dying spiritually (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 5:12). As a consequence they would no longer be among the tree of life, which would lead to their eventual physical death (Gen. 3:22).
Eve knew the clear rule of God. The devil told her a lie. So why did she eat? She was not listening to reason when she ate. She “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise” (Gen. 3:6). Since God made such a perfect paradise for her, it would stand to reason that He loved her and wanted what was best for her; He did not want her to die. But she abandoned reason and let her feelings take over. Many today claim that Bible believers do not listen to the voice of reason, insinuating that they, instead, do listen to the voice of reason. However, just as it was in the beginning of the world, so it is today – those who deny God and his plain laws are giving into their feelings and selfish desires rather than listening to reason (Rom. 1:22-28). The fool has said in his heart there is no God (Psa. 14:1; 53:1). Nature all around us testifies to God’s existence, power and goodness (Psa. 19:1-4; Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:20). It is Christians who listen to the voice of reason and embrace true and sober thinking when they follow God (Acts 26:25).
So the next time you are tempted to question plain truths clearly set forth in God’s word and creation all around, remember Eve. Be honest and consider whether there is a selfish, sinful desire that is driving you to abandon clear thinking.