As I study from Genesis, I observe Satan’s tactics with Eve in the Garden of Eden. You may think I’m wasting time focusing on the devil; some in the church may think it’s better to just ignore him. But, while I know that our God is greater than he who is in the world, I also know that if I’m in a battle it would serve me well to keep a vigilant eye on my mortal enemy and to be skilled in handling his wicked schemes.
Satan’s schemes with Eve began with a question.
Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3: 1
The very next verse shows that Eve responded. She listened to the deceiver. She also attempted to explain God’s word, but added to it.
We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Genesis 3: 3
Eve’s receptivity caused Satan to become more brash:
You will not surely die. (verse 4)
And Eve believed him. The father of all lies tricked his first victim. Initially God’s Word was questioned, then twisted then outright rejected until Eve gave in to the temptation.
In contrast we read in the Gospels that Jesus perfectly resisted temptation from the enemy by knowing God and His Word and by not entertaining the temporal fantasies of the flesh. After every hissing lure, Jesus refuted the old serpent with God’s Word:
It is written…
Where are you receptive to the hungry roaring lion who prowls about seeking whom he may devour? Can you imagine for one moment toying with the stomach-growling lion at the local zoo? Oh, just a little climb on the fence, maybe one step onto his territory, perhaps a closer response toward his growl…
Our good and loving Father warns us that Satan will take advantage of us if we are ignorant of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2). So press forward against temptation fully observant, completely planted in the Word of God and firmly standing ready to do battle against him (Ephesians 6).
According to J. C. Ryle in Holiness, Scripture witnesses to us that Jesus is a complete Savior. He will not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, He does more: He breaks its power! Keeping sin from its dominion in our hearts means that we must be waging war against temptations that come our way.
Know your flesh…
know your enemy and his schemes…
and know God’s Word.