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Our greatest snares

‘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

Satan tempted Eve by a serpent, Adam by Eve herself. She was bone of his bone, his dearest friend, his other self. By sin she was brought under Satan’s power and became his instrument, so that then he had access to Adam in the least suspected and the most ensnaring way. If he did not prevail thus, he could have little hope of success in any other method. And alas, he took his measures surely. Adam hearkened to the voice of his wife. By the subtlety of Satan, our best earthly comforts and the choicest gifts of God may become our greatest snares. If it was so in Paradise, how much more are we exposed to this danger now. Do you rejoice in the possession of many blessings and comforts? Rejoice with trembling. The enemy is watching to make that which is good an occasion of your falling. There is not one of them but may draw you into sin. We know not how often our nearest friends may (perhaps unawares to themselves) be influenced by the enemy to tempt us to sin. He will not so frequently solicit us by those we hate, as by those we love. And when they mean us well, they may be acting the part, to our hurt, which a professed enemy could not attempt. Thus Satan employed Peter to discourage our Lord from his purpose of love to us; but he saw that though the words were Peter’s, the suggestion was from Satan and treated it accordingly (Matthew 16:23).

FOR MEDITATION: This consolation he himself gives, Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world [John 16:33]. Jesus likewise overcame in himself and overcame in his people all that is in the world suited to poison and alienate their hearts, so that by faith in him they are enabled to withstand not only its frowns but its smiles, which are perhaps the more dangerous weapons with which the world can assault them.
Sermon: Revelation 19:13, 7 September 1777


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