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. THE CHARACTER OF THE FIRST SIN. The strength of the first sin was the law of God. There was no intrinsic poison in the forbidden fruit, for God cannot produce an essentially evil thing; the creature's disobedience gave to it its deadly power.
II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FIRST SIN. So long as the creature's love for God was perfect, the first law remained unbroken; but even as in Elijah's days, there arose out of the sea a vapour, not larger than a man's hand, which gathered unto itself other clouds, until the whole heaven was covered with blackness; so there arose in the horizon of Eden, as a little cloud, a doubt of God's love, and behold now the sky is overcast above our heads, even with the shadow of death. Yes, Eve began to think that her Maker had withholden from her that which was good. She, looking upon the forbidden tree, formed an independent judgment upon its qualities; she pronounced that it was good for food, pleasant to the sight, and of a nature to communicate wisdom to the partaker thereof. This was the first step in the development of her sin. Next, she desired it. It was "a tree to be desired." There is something wonderful in the typicality of the first sin; how distinctly do we see the shadow of that, which is now in the world, as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of an intellectual life. In the full and final development of sin the woman took of the fruit and ate. The deed of wickedness followed the unholy thought; and the ruin of the world was completed.
III. THE PROLIFIC NATURE OF THE FIRST SIN. "Gave unto her husband, and he did eat." No sooner is one sin truly born, or brought forth in its maturity, than it becomes the parent of a thousand or a million of other transgressions. There is no point which should make us dread sin more than its hydra-like multiplication. It branches forth in every direction; it is impossible to check its rapidity of reproduction.
IV. THE PERPETUITY OF ITS EFFECT ON POSTERITY.
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?