In general, when one hears of the first temptation, it is easy to gloss over it, and focus on the consequences. But in these days, when false teachers abound, it makes sense to look at that very first, irresistible temptation. And from that, we can draw some parallels to what is happening today.
Gen 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Gen 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Here is where the evil one asks Eve about the instructions they received from God. Apparently real simple, don’t touch the fruit, the reward that is present in the place that God made for them. Don’t try to consume something that is not yours, God said, because you will bring death on yourself.
So the first thing the evil one does is to lie to the woman (v4). Because as we see, by this disobedience, death indeed enters the world. In today’s world, we hear from so many that we shouldn’t worry about what God has to say, because He is not the only God, nor is His Word not the only way to “not die”. So the lie is repeated often, even today.
But is does not stop there. the evil one continues (v5a). All you have to do, he says, is take some of that reward and you will know things that only God knows. You will see and know things that you never knew before. You will no longer be spiritually blind. And that too, is something we hear today. Don’t worry about God, just do it yourself, and you will know things, realize things that you never did before. You will be so much more spiritually aware.
And then (v5b), he says, you will be like God. In fact, in the original language this can be singular or plural, thus rendering it “gods”. You will be gods if you take that reward. You will know what God knows. You will be like Him. In fact, you can infer that the evil one is saying that man will be God if he disobeys and partake of the fruits, the rewards, that God prohibited. And that too, sounds like the promises we hear from a bunch of mystical teachers today.
Lastly (v5c), the kind of knowledge gained will be that man will internalize the knowledge of good and evil. Man will be able to be his own standard of right and wrong. And yet again, this is very familiar in todays relativistic world. If it feels good to me, then I can do it because then it is right for me.
So we see that nothing much has changed over the last few thousand years. There are still those that try to convince us that it is ok to ignore God. That we can be like Him. That we can know oursleves what is rght and wrong, without having to bother to consult Him. That we will be on equal footing with Him. But now we can see where that type of teaching comes from. From the very first temptation. And the fact that Eve, who knew God intimately, was so easily taken in shows how very lucrative and tempting it is to believe it.
Don’t fall for the lie, dear friends. We cannot be God. We cannot know what He does not impart to us. And we cannot judge right and wrong without His transcendent influence. There is just one way, and that is to believe God when He says that He is the only way to eternal life.