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“I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid” -Adam, Genesis 3:10

I wonder after Adam and Eve’s encounter with the snake if they ever talked about that first moment of eye-contact. Upon reflection, did they feel any suspicion at the time? Would they have known suspicion was what they were feeling?

They were being duped and they didn’t even know it. They were looking into the eyes of a deceiver. It’s kind of a spine-chilling thought to be making eye-contact with the devil and not even know it.

In Warren Wiersbe’s short book The Strategy of Satan, he relates the four episodes in the Old Testament where Satan shows up. For each episode Wiersbe applies the same outline, identifying Satan’s target, weapon, purpose, and, finally, our defense.

In this episode the outline for each of these can be drawn in pretty easily:

  • The target is their mind
  • The weapon is lies
  • The purpose is division
  • The defense is what God said

Deception plays off of ignorance. The devil knew what Adam and Eve did not know. He knew if he could simply plant a few lies in the mind he could have his way. What was the way the devil wanted? That’s the tricky trick I see in the devil’s purpose here! He knew if he could get Adam and Eve to think they were ignorant of God’s true intention, he could get them to flip their allegiance.

So the devil targeted Adam and Eve’s thoughts (2 Cor 11:3) with seeds of doubt. All they had to do is trust what they knew. Whenever facing something we don’t understand, we are to fall back on what we do understand. Instead, they felt the need to bolster and shore up what they knew. The devil asked what their constraints were: Did God say you shall not eat from any tree in the garden? (Gen 3:1). Eve answered saying they could eat any except one and it wasn’t to be touched either. But God didn’t say that.

 

I think this is the breach in their defense: they added to the simple instruction God had given.
Where did that added protection against disobedience come from? Did Adam and Even make a pact not to touch the tree as an added safeguard? Did Adam tell Eve that was what God said? Their only defense was following what they had been told. But that defense had been weakened long before making eye-contact with the devil. Any strength (i.e. added instructions) we think we have to make to God’s instructions is a weakening of what God has said.

Could you be making eye-contact with the devil and not even know it? Yes. But that should not be our worry. Our defense is not avoiding the enemy, but trusting what we have been told.

 

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