The First Onslaught
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Shortly after he created the heavens and the earth, he formed man from the dust of the ground. Then, shortly after he formed man from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7) he formed woman from the rib of the man (Gen. 12:21-22).
After God had created Adam (the man), he placed him in a garden in Eden. Then, after he created Eve (the woman), she was in the garden in Eden as well (Gen. 2:8). Within this garden, God made every tree that is pleasant to the eye and good for food spring up out of the ground (Gen. 2:9). One of the trees happened to be a tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9). God declared to Adam that he could eat from every tree in the garden that was pleasant to the eye and good for food, but that he could not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16).
After a very brief time of Adam and Eve being together, the serpent that was craftier than any other beast of the field approached Eve (Gen. 3:1). Now this serpent was not just any ole serpent. We learn from the rest of Scripture that this serpent “is the devil and Satan” (Rev. 20:2). Satan is utterly detestable. He is a murderer, a liar, and the deceiver of the whole world (Jn. 8:44; Rev. 12:19). With this being the case, he approached Eve with a terribly wicked scheme.
The ancient serpent begins his conversation with Eve saying, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). I want you just to take heed to the first four words that the deceiver of the world uttered. The very first thing Satan attempted to do was to get Eve to question the word of God. We know that God never said, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden,” but rather said, “You may surely eat of EVERY tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:16). Satan’s entire agenda was to tempt Eve to doubt the very words of God. He knew that if he got her to doubt the word of God, then she would be more inclined to disobey the word of God.
After Satan asked that question, Eve replied rather well telling Satan that they are free to eat of any tree in garden except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if they eat or touch (I have no idea where Eve came up with them touching the fruit would kill them) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then they would die (Gen. 3:3). The ancient serpent does not change his deplorable wicked scheme and responds to Eve saying, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil” (Gen. 3:5). In essence, the serpent is saying, “God said that you would die if you eat of that tree, but surely you will not die Eve. Did God really even mean that? Surely he did not mean that. It is obvious that God is withholding something that is good from you. With that being the case, go against God’s word and eat of the fruit.” It is obvious from the very beginning of creation that the wicked scheme of Satan is to get people of God to doubt, question, and rebel against the very word of God.
Sorrowfully, Adam and Eve both gave into the ancient serpents scheme and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They sinned against God by disobeying the word of God. The deceiver succeeded in deceiving. Sin along with its devastating effects entered into the perfect creation.
Thousands of years later, we see the same ancient serpent using his same ancient scheme. Only this time, Satan was attempting to scheme the Son of God. He was attempting to get Christ our Lord to succumb to doubting, questioning, and disobeying the Word of God. Lets look at this really quick.
A Failed Onslaught
In Matthew chapter 3, we see that Jesus is going to John the Baptist at the Jordan River. Once he makes it there, John the Baptist baptizes him in the Jordan River (Matt. 3:16). After Jesus was raised up from the water, the voice of God comes forth from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). This takes us right into chapter 4 of Matthew. In chapter 4, we see that right after Jesus was baptized, He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God so that he could be tempted by the Devil. (Matt. 4:1).
After Christ was in the wilderness forty days and forty nights, the ancient serpent approached the Son of God with his wicked scheme. The serpent says, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matt. 4:3). Look at Satan’s first six words to Christ. The serpent said, “If you are the Son of God.” The serpent knows that Christ is the Son of God. It had only been a little over forty days since the voice of God came from the heavens saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” The ancient serpent is attempting to get Christ to doubt that God really meant that. He is attempting to get Christ to question whether that is really true. And ultimately, the serpent is attempting to get Jesus to disobey the Word of God. Satan will go on to tempt Christ this way three different times in Matthew 4, but each time Christ never questions, doubts, or disobeys the Word of God. Christ did not give in to the temptation as Adam (the first man) did. Where Adam fell into sin, Christ Jesus lived in complete obedience. This is why Christ Jesus is the only hope for us sinners. We all, along with Adam, have doubted, questioned, and disobeyed the Word of God. We deserve the wrath of God because of our disobedience to the Lord of Creation, but thanks be to God “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly, For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-but God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8).
Beware of the Continual Onslaught
Today, the ancient serpent is still around and he uses the same ancient scheme. We do not need to be caught off guard by this because the Word of God addresses it. Sure, Satan is no longer approaching us and saying, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” Rather, Satan is saying, “Did God actually say that homosexuality is an unnatural sexual desire and a sin against God? Surely homosexuality is not a sin and love wins!” The serpent is whispering deceptively, “Did God actually say that a baby within the womb is a creation of God made in the image of God and ought not be aborted? Surely God does not have the ownership of the woman and her body, but rather the woman has ownership of herself and the fetal tissue inside of her.” The serpent is deceivingly saying, “Did God actually say that sex before marriage is a sin. Surely it is not a sin to have sex before marriage. Sex before marriage will allow you to see whether your boyfriend or girlfriend is truly in love with you.” Satan is misleadingly proclaiming, “Did God actually say that you cannot serve both God and money? Did God actually mean that if you serve money then you would hate Him? Surely you can serve both God and money. Surely you can seek to be rich in the eyes of the world and still be rich toward God. Also, when you finally get enough money. You will be content and have value.”
Believer, read the Word! Cling to the Word! Obey the Word. Resist the temptation to question, doubt, and disobey the word! For you can be sure, the ancient serpent will continue using his same ancient scheme.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”