Satan’s wily methods
‘Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ Genesis 3:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 11:1–26
The serpent said to the woman, who was created to be a helpmeet for the man. Adam was the immediate head of the creation and God gave him the woman to be his companion. We may believe they were each furnished suitably for the different parts assigned them in life—equal with respect to their great end, the knowledge and love of God, but the woman in some respects subordinate to the man even in Paradise. It seems probable that Satan expected more easily to prevail over her, that he was afraid of being discovered and repulsed if he applied directly to man, but if he could deceive the woman first, he hoped by her means to draw the man into transgression likewise, as the event proved (see 1 Corinthians 11:3, 9; 1 Timothy 2:13–14). In this first temptation we may see something of his general methods to this day.
It seems that Satan was well acquainted with Adam’s ability, therefore he proceeded cautiously; he knew his situation and suited himself accordingly. The Scripture, as I have observed, intimates that even in the state where both were perfect, the woman was in a sense the weaker vessel, therefore he began with her, watching an opportunity, as it should seem, when Adam was absent. And thus he besets and watches us all, especially awakened souls. He will not ordinarily come upon you in your strength, at a season when you are best prepared and most upon your guard, but will wait his advantage. He did not tempt Peter to deny his master when upon the Mount, but when he found him in the high priest’s hall. He will not tempt you by directly thwarting your knowledge and judgement, but will tempt you when you are weaker, by your imaginations, passions or prejudices.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8, NIV).
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 6 [1/3], GENESIS 3:1