365 days with Newton

28 APRIL

Guilty!

‘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: 2 Timothy 2:15–3:9

The facts. Eve completed the transgression by actually eating the fruit, in a daring spirit, despising the threatening of the God who made her. She gave to her husband and he did eat. It should seem Adam was absent at first, but now sin had hardened her heart, she sought him out to make him partner in her iniquity. I suppose she used some arguments, because the Lord charges Adam not only with taking the fruit from her hand, but with hearkening to her voice. As she had eaten and was yet alive, she might, from that circumstance, tempt him to doubt and disbelieve the threatening as she had done before him. Observe:
(i) When Satan has prevailed upon any to sin, he will not suffer them to sin alone, but employs them as instruments to tempt others. Many of you know this but too well. It is a small thing for you to break God’s commands yourself, unless you can seduce others. When Adam came to consider what he had done, his answer to the Lord intimates that he wished he had never seen the face of Eve. O what a miserable greeting will those have in the other world who have helped to ruin each other in this. How will they revile and charge and curse each other!
(ii) The patience of God which ought to lead sinners to repentance, is a means of hardening them (Ecclesiastes 8:11). If Adam had found Eve struck dead upon the spot for eating the fruit, it would have terrified him from a compliance. But now her impunity made him bold.

FOR MEDITATION: I met with a young man who had formerly been a midshipman on board the Harwich.… I gave him a plain account of the manner and reason of my change, and used every argument to persuade him to relinquish his infidel schemes. He would remind me that I was the first person who had given him an idea of his liberty. He was exceedingly profane, and grew worse and worse. I saw in him a most lively picture of what I had once been. He died convinced but not changed. Narrative, 1764, Letter 13.

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 8 [2/3], GENESIS 3:6–7

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