Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said…
Eve was vanquished by three crafty thrusts. Three poisoned arrows gave the deadly wounds. The flesh was seduced to lust — the eyes to long — and pride to covet. The forbidden fruit was exhibited first, as good for food — next, as pleasant to the eyes — then, as desirable to make one wise. Now, just as in the acorn, the monarch of the forest lives; as a small seed contains the planks for mansions, ships, and mighty works — so, in the earliest temptation there lies the embryo of sin's whole progeny.
I. THE FLESH IS MIGHTY TO CORRUPT THE INNER MAN. Its doors are countless. Its casements are seldom closed. Through these there is quick access to the heart. It also is our encompassing mantle. We cannot escape its close embrace. We never move but in its company. There is no time when it is absent. Hence its prodigious power.
II. THE EYE IS ALSO AN INLET OF SOLICITATIONS. Eve warns again. She fixed her eyes upon the fruit, and soon its beauty put forth fearful fascination. The attraction strengthened. Resistance melted, as snow before the sun. The enchanting appearance bewitched. The outward show injected sparks of longing. The fire kindled. The bait was taken. The eye betrayed. From that day he has been diligent to exhibit fascinating scenes, to gild externals with bewitching beauty, and to lead through them into sin's vilest paths.
3. There is another broad road open for temptation's feet. It is the desire to be great — the ambition to be distinguished — the lust of admiration. The Spirit names it, "The pride of life" (1 John 2:16). This net too was first spread in Eden. The devil showed the fruit — and whispered that the taste would enlarge the faculties — give nobler wings to intellect — communicate new stores of knowledge. While she beheld, the poisonous thought took root, the tree is "to be desired to make one wise." But was not her intelligence enough? She knew God. In that knowledge is the joy of joys, and life for evermore.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the serpent was more subtil 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?