Doubting and Temptation

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Adam and Eve were enjoying the beautiful garden together, and how happy they must have been. But the happiness did not last long. They chose to listen to the voice of the serpent (Satan) rather than to the voice of God. God provided everything for them and had given them such wonderful things, while the serpent had not done anything for them. So why should they listen to him? But they did!
How cleverly the serpent asked his question, “Yea hath God said?” He first put a doubt into Eve’s mind by questioning whether God had really spoken. This is always the way Satan begins. He wants you to doubt the Bible, the Word of God, and if he can get you doubting, he will be able to ruin you, as he did Eve. The Christian needs an armor for his spiritual battles, and we are told, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:1616Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)). Never let one doubt enter your mind as to the truth of the Word of God, or Satan’s fiery darts will get in.
Eve Replies in Doubt
Then Eve replied to the serpent by saying, “God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” We can notice two mistakes in her reply. First she added to God’s Word. God hadn’t told them not to touch it, but unbelief adds to God’s Word, as well as taking away from it. Then Eve also said “Lest ye die,” which shows there was a doubt in her mind. But God’s Word was definite, “Ye shall surely die” (Genesis 2:1717But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17)). The serpent saw that she was doubting, and he said, “Ye shall not surely die.” He flatly contradicted what God said.
Satan’s Deception
Satan had his bait all ready, just like a fisherman, so that when they grabbed at it, they would be caught with his hook. He told them they would “be as gods, knowing good and evil.” But he only told them part of the truth, for although they got the knowledge of good and evil (a conscience) when they ate of the fruit, they received a fallen nature, wanting to do evil, and without the power to do good.
Eve listened to Satan, and disobeyed God. She saw that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise. It all looked good, except for one thing — it was disobedience to God. So dear children, the world with its bright lights, its sinful pleasures, and its fa­mous men and women looks very attractive. But stop a moment. It is Satan who has fixed up the world to take your young hearts away from the Lord, and “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mark 8:3636For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)). If you listen to the voice of God through His Word, you will have the victory over these temptations. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:44For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)).
Further Meditation
1. What were two mistakes Eve made in her reply to the serpent?
2. How did Joseph respond when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife? How did his problems get bigger at first? How did his obedience turn out in the end?
3. The Problem of Lust by W. MacDonald is a clear and simple brochure related to the topic of temptation and might be helpful to you.