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…
I. WHO TEMPTS?
1. Not the mere serpent.
2. A higher power of evil.
3. This higher power a person.
4. The leader of the fallen angels.
II. WHY PERMITTED? Easy to see why moved; why permitted, a mystery. But we may note -
1. That the intercourse of mind with mind is a general law of nature. To exclude the devil, therefore, from gaining access to man might have involved as great a miracle as preventing one mind from influencing another.
2. That the good as well as the evil angels have access to us. Can we estimate their influence, or be sure that Adam's position or the world's would have been better if both had been excluded?
3. That possibly by this sin under temptation we were saved from a worse sin apart from temptation.
4. That God magnifies his grace and vindicates his power against the devil's in raising fallen man above his first place of creature-ship into that of sonship.
III. WHY EMPLOY THE SERPENT?
1. Because not permitted to assume a higher form - his masterpiece of craft, "an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), or his masterpiece of power, a mighty prince (Matthew 4:1).
2. Because of all animals the serpent seemed the fittest for his purpose. - W.
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?