No new tricks
I often say to people I am walking with in this journey of following Jesus; “the devil doesn’t have any new tricks, because the old ones are still working!”
In Genesis 3 we read of that fateful day when Eve was tempted and ended up sinning with Adam and the whole course of human history was altered. And in the Scripture’s account of that moment we can see the strategy of the devil, how he drew her off God’s good plan for her life and into his. He has no new tricks so considering the old ones will help us avoid the same mistakes. I see five strategies in Genesis 3:1-6 from our enemy, may considering them make us more alert to them and enable us to take counter measures.
1) The devil plants seeds of unbelief & doubt (vs1)
We know from verse 2-3 that Eve’s problem was not a lack of knowledge regarding what God had said, her problem was not a lack of understanding. Her problem started with the seeds of doubt, the questions that had been sown by the devil. He posed questions about what God had actually said and calling into question God and God’s integrity; “God told you that!”
2) The devil lies and contradicts God’s word to us (vs4)
The devil is the deceiver (Revelation 12:9) and one of his main weapons is lies, misinformation that contradicts God’s words to us. The devil deceived Eve by sowing thoughts contrary to what God had said.
3) The devil lies about God (vs5)
The devil is also known in Scripture as the accuser. So he lies and calls into question God’s motives and integrity (vs5). Is God really good and loving, are His commands for us good or restrictive and bad?
4) The devil makes false promises (vs5)
He makes false promises about being able to be like God or to know what God knows, to possess knowledge equal to God’s, even to usurp God and His rightful place in our lives (vs5).
5) He awakens ungodly desires (vs6)
The Genesis 2 picture depicts Adam and Eve as happy, content in the Garden of Eden, content in each other and in relationship with God – with God as loving and involved Creator and them as happy beings created by God. Yet in vs5 the devil proposes an idea, a desire that must have never previously existed; ‘you can be like God, you can throw off your dependence on God, and be self-determining’! That’s an ungodly desire, that’s the essence of sin, to replace God with ourselves, His desires with our desires.
In addition to that in vs6 we read that Eve desired the tree now in a way that she hadn’t desired it previously. The tree held an appeal to her ‘it was a delight to her eyes’ and now ‘the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit’.
Eve didn’t desire this tree or its fruit previously, she might have been curious about it or appreciative of its beauty but now she desired it for what it would give her…
May your consideration today of these very old tricks help guard you and keep you from the enemies deception which is designed to rob from you and destroy your faith and ultimately your life.
By Gareth Bowley