In the Garden, we can learn about the enemy and his ways. His strategy is first to deceive. In Genesis 3:1 we learn: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.” Listen carefully, he didn’t take on the appearance of the serpent because it was feared or evil. We don’t even know if Adam and Eve had even encountered a snake, or serpent, before. He chose to present himself as a serpent because God had created them, and then pronounced them to be good. Eve had no reason to fear the serpent.
Second, the serpent went on with his strategy, to lie in order to convince Eve to make a bad choice. With the tree in the middle of the garden he convinced her that the fruit was good, and that “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (v. 5). In his lies, the enemy was able to convince Eve that eating the fruit was, in fact, good for her. If this was a good thing, the only logical choice would be to eat the fruit.
In Be Basic, Warren Wiersbe wrote these words:
“A temptation is an opportunity to accomplish a good thing in a bad way. It’s a good thing to pass a school examination but a bad thing to do it by cheating. It’s a good thing to pay your bills but a bad thing to steal the money for the payments. In essence, Satan said to Eve: ‘I can give you something that you need and want, you can have it now and enjoy it; and best of all, there won’t be any painful consequences.’ What an opportunity.”
Third, Satan’s strategy was to distort the Word of God. God had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree in the middle of the Garden. But the serpent asked, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” It was almost as if he was suggesting that God couldn’t have meant that tree. And finally, Satan’s strategy was to absolutely deny God’s word, when he said, “You will not certainly die.”
Satan began his encounter with Eve in a seemingly harmless fashion. He presented himself as part of God’s creation, which to Eve must be good because God pronounced it good. From there, his lies, distortion, and denial of the words of God led Eve down a path of destruction.
In our world there are scientists, physicians, and legal authorities who believe that there are certain drugs which when used lead to other more dangerous drugs. These are called “gateway drugs” because they seem to open the user up to much more dangerous addictions. Alcohol and drugs like marijuana are attractive to teens and young adults. They’re told, “It’s fun,” and “one time won’t hurt you.” Before you know it, many of these same young people are traveling down a road to self-destruction. All because of something that seemed so harmless, so good.
What good things is Satan using to distort truth or confuse you in your life?