365 days with Newton

27 APRIL

A hardened heart

‘And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.’ Genesis 3:6
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 John 2:3–17

So true is that word in James 1:15: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. The serpent had so entirely perverted the woman’s judgement and hardened her heart that nothing now appeared so desirable as what God had expressly forbid. We have her motives. In the view we had of this fruit, we may see the leading principles by which sin has always deceived, which the Apostle enumerates as the chief branches of the spirit of this world (1 John 2:16).
(i) It was pleasant to the eye. Great reason we have to make David’s prayer (Psalm 119:17) and with Job to make a covenant with our eyes [Job 31:1], for they are the inlet of many temptations. In many countries there are still pleasant trees that bear poisonous fruit. Had not the eye of her mind been blinded, she had not made this judgement.
(ii) And good for food. If she had been starving, this might have seemed the more plausible, but she had abundance and variety of what was really good and liberty to use it. Because it looked pleasant she thought it good, for she had not tried; the serpent told her so, or perhaps she saw him eat it.
(iii) Desirable to make one wise. Besides the gratification of her sensual appetites, she was drawn away by the pride of her heart and this perhaps was the chief snare. The fruit of other trees was probably as pleasant, and she knew was good for food, but none but this flattered her ambition to be raised higher in rank and knowledge.

FOR MEDITATION: Observe: when the heart is resolved upon sin, every pretence and presumption becomes a strong argument for compliance. When Satan has gained the will and made us careless of God’s command and authority, his work is done. The grossest temptations will then be welcome. How else could sinners think there was something good and desirable in drunkenness, uncleanness, blasphemy and other vile abominations which he urges them to do?

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 8 [1/3], GENESIS 3:6–7

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