Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tracing the Deception of Eve: Deceived, Self-deceived & Deceiving Others

Tracing the Deception of Eve: Deceived, Self-deceived & Deceiving Others

by Patte Smith on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 11:12am ·

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'?
And the woman said unto the serpent,
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said,
'Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' "
And the serpent said unto the woman,
'Ye shall not surely die:
for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,
then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.'
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 3:1-6

Then the LORD God said to the woman,
“What is this that you have done?”
The woman said,
“The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.”
~ Genesis 3:13

The woman makes a ...confession and..indication of the source of her temptation. She has now found out that the serpent "beguiled her." The result has not corresponded to the benefit she was led to anticipate.

Sin does not take full possession of the will all at once.
It is a slow poison.
It has a growth.
It requires time and frequent repetition to sink from a state of purity into a habit of inveterate sin.
While it is insensibly gathering strength and subjugating the will, the original integrity of the moral nature manifests a long but fading vitality...
Hence, the consciousness of a fallen soul has its lucid intervals,
in which the conscience gives a verdict and guides the will.
But these intervals become less frequent and less decisive
as the entanglements of ever-multiplying sinful acts
wind round the soul and aggravate its bondage and its blindness.
~ Albert Barnes

The serpent ..told her that the fruit forbidden was very good food, and very useful to improve knowledge; even to such a degree as to make men like God; and this God knew, and therefore out of envy and ill will to them forbid the eating of it; nor need they fear His menaces, for they might depend upon it they should never die; and thus he caused her to err from the truth, and to believe a lie; and by giving heed to the seducing spirit she was prevailed upon to eat of the fruit of the tree, which was forbidden, and which she owns; and it is an ingenuous confession that she makes as to the matter of fact; but yet, like her husband, and as learning it from him, she endeavours to shift off the blame from herself, and lay it on the serpent.
~ John Gill

Instead of confessing her sin,
she increases it by accusing the serpent.
~ Geneva Study Bible

Beguiled-cajoled by flattering lies.
This sin of the first pair was heinous and aggravated-
it was not simply eating an apple,
but a love of self,
dishonor to God,
ingratitude to a benefactor,
disobedience to the best of Masters-
a preference of the creature to the Creator.
~ Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

The first degree (of temptation) relates to the mind – it is dragged away from its duties by the deceit of sin. The second aims at the affections – they are enticed and entangled. The third overcomes the will – the consent of the will is the conception of actual sin. The fourth degree disrupts our way of life as sin is born into it. The fifth is the flesh’s goal, a hardened life of sin, which leads to eternal death (James 1:14-15).
~Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within

Those who by sin go astray from God,
should seriously consider where they are;
they are afar off from all good,
in the midst of their enemies,
in bondage to Satan,
and in the high road to utter ruin.
This lost sheep had wandered without end, if the good Shepherd had not sought after him, and told him, that where he was straying he could not be either happy or easy. If sinners will but consider where they are, they will not rest till they return to God.

It is the common fault and folly of those that have done ill, when questioned about it, to acknowledge only that which is so manifest that they cannot deny it. Like Adam, we have reason to be afraid of approaching to God, if we are not covered and clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
Sin appears most plainly in the glass of the commandment, therefore God set it before Adam;
and in it we should see our faces. But instead of acknowledging the sin in its full extent, and taking shame to themselves, Adam and Eve excuse the sin, and lay the shame and blame on others.
There is a strange proneness in those that are tempted, to say, they are tempted of God; as if our abuse of God's gifts would excuse our breaking God's laws. Those who are willing to take the pleasure and profit of sin, are backward to take the blame and shame of it.
Learn hence, that Satan's temptations are all beguilings;
his arguments are all deceits;
his allurements are all cheats.
When he speaks fair, believe him not.
It is by the deceitfulness of sin the heart is hardened. See Ro 7:11; Heb 3:13.
But though Satan's subtlety may draw us into sin, yet it will not justify us in sin.
Though he is the tempter, we are the sinners.
Let it not lessen our sorrow for sin, that we were beguiled into it;
but let it increase our self-indignation,
that we should suffer ourselves to be deceived by a known cheat, and a sworn enemy,
who would destroy our souls.
~ Matthew Henry

I wear the chain I forged in life! I made it link by link and yard by yard! I gartered it on of my own free will and by my own free will, I wore it! ...Ah! You do not know the weight and length of strong chain you bear yourself! It was as full and as long as this seven Christmas eves ago and you have labored on it since. 
Ah, it is a ponderous chain! 
~ Jacob Marley
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Romans 7:11

For sin -deceived me - The word used here properly means to lead or seduce from the right way;
and then to deceive, solicit to sin, cause to err from the way of virtue, Romans 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 11:3, "The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty," 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
The meaning here seems to be, that his corrupt and rebellious propensities, excited by the Law, led him astray; caused him more and more to sin; practiced a species of deception on him by urging him on headlong, and without deliberation, into aggravated transgression.
In this sense, all sinners are deceived. Their passions urge them on, deluding them, and leading them further and further from happiness, and involving them, before they are aware, in crime and death.
No being in the universe is more deluded than a sinner in the indulgence of evil passions.
The description of Solomon in a particular case will apply to all, Proverbs 7:21-23.
With much fair speech she caused him to yield,
With the flattering of her lips she forced him.
He goeth after her straightway,
As an ox goeth to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
Till a dart strike through his liver,
As a bird hasteth to the snare."

~ Albert Barnes

Sin, deriving strength from the law, threatening death to the transgressor, deceived me, drew me aside to disobedience, promising me gratification honor, independence, etc., as it promised to Eve.

Sin ..slew me - Subjected me to that death which the law denounced against transgressors; and rendered me miserable during the course of life itself. It is well known to scholars that the verb αποκτεινειν signifies not only to slay or kill, but also to make wretched.
Every sinner is not only exposed to death because he has sinned, and must, sooner or later, die;
but he is miserable in both body and mind by the influence and the effects of sin.
He lives a dying life, or a living death.
~ Adam Clarke

Sin ...deceived me; either by promising pleasure or impunity: the same effect is ascribed by the Jews to the evil imagination or corruption of nature, which they say is called an enticer.
~ John Gill

There is no way of coming to that knowledge of sin,
which is necessary to repentance,
and therefore to peace and pardon,
but by trying our hearts and lives by the Law.
In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the Law. That perfect standard showed how wrong his heart and life were, proving his sins to be more numerous than he had before thought, but it did not contain any provision of mercy or grace for his relief. He is ignorant of human nature and the perverseness of his own heart, who does not perceive in himself a readiness to fancy there is something desirable in what is out of reach. We may perceive this in our children, though self-love makes us blind to it in ourselves. The more humble and spiritual any Christian is, the more clearly will he perceive that the apostle describes the true believer, from his first convictions of sin to his greatest progress in grace, during this present imperfect state. St. Paul was once a Pharisee, ignorant of the spirituality of the Law, having some correctness of character, without knowing his inward depravity. When the commandment came to his conscience by the convictions of the Holy Spirit, and he saw what it demanded, he found his sinful mind rise against it. He felt at the same time the evil of sin, his own sinful state, that he was unable to fulfil the law, and was like a criminal when condemned.
But though the evil principle in the human heart produces sinful motions,
and the more by taking occasion of the commandment;
yet the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good.
It is not favourable to sin, which it pursues into the heart, and discovers and reproves in the inward motions thereof. Nothing is so good but a corrupt and vicious nature will pervert it.
The same heat that softens wax, hardens clay.
Food or medicine when taken wrong, may cause death, though its nature is to nourish or to heal.
The Law may cause death through man's depravity,
but sin is the poison that brings death.
Not the Law, but sin discovered by the Law, was made death to the apostle.
The ruinous nature of sin,
and the sinfulness of the human heart,
are here clearly shown.
~ Matthew Henry

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made,
even His eternal power and Godhead;
so that they are without excuse..
Romans 1:20

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