Genesis 3:1-6 God Gives Us a Temptation


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Gen. 3:1   Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,

3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

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.”

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (emphasis added)


This passage is incredibly important for us to understand since following it the relationship between God and man was completely broken. Up to this point Adam and Eve had lived in a place of perfection [1] and friendship with God (Genesis 3:8). But following chapter three verse six we see them living very differently.

  1. By hiding from God (3:8)
  2. By refusing to confess sin (3:10)
  3. By blaming others for their sins (3:11–12)
  4. By experiencing the curse of sin (3:16–19)

It may seem strange that a temptation to sin against God is found in a perfect place. However even more confusing is the fact that God ALLOWED this to happen.

In Job chapter one we are told about a man named Job who Satan believed was serving God only because He was blessed by God. Because of this Satan came and ASKED PERMISSION to bring a judgment upon the life of Job (Job 1:8–11).

Notice God’s response to Satan

Job 1:12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (emphasis added)

We see this control from God over Satan as He gives permission to attack Job’s possessions, but not himself physically. Only after returning later did God get permission to do this (Job 2:1–7).

Of course this raises the question “why did God allow Satan to tempt Eve?”

The answer is to prove we cannot withstand those temptations.

Notice some things about this temptation to eat the forbidden fruit:

  1. It came at Eve’s weakest moment (she was standing in front of the tree and possibly thinking about it, Adam wasn’t around, God wasn’t physically present)
  2. It began as shock over the fact that God told them they couldn’t do something (3:1) [2]
  3. A focus on the tree (one thing she couldn’t do) caused Eve to overreact to God’s command (3:2–3) (God never said they couldn’t touch it)
  4. It promises the consequences for sin wouldn’t come (3:4) [3]
  5. It promises they can do a better job of being God than God (3:5)

If Satan came along and told us to immediately rebel against the plan of God we would have little problem choosing to withstand him. But instead of this he comes to us quietly whispering “If God really loved you things wouldn’t be this way.”

That simple thought (God isn’t loving) leads us to openly rebel, and believe we can do a better job of being God than Him (Isaiah 14:13–15). Even when we don’t want to disobey our strength is no match for the temptation…

We are addicted to it (Romans 3:23).

The fact that God puts us in a situation we cannot win makes it easy to think Satan is right in saying He doesn’t love us (3:5). But instead this is what the Lord uses to crush the idea we don’t need Him.

We have already covered two ways this week the Lord shows us we are poor God substitutes.

  1. Our inability to choose the right way (Genesis 2:15–17)
  2. Our judgment from God when we rebel (Isaiah 14:13–15)
  3. Now our inability to faithfully serve God is added to the list

In a time of need it’s easy to respond “Oh it’s okay God I’ve got this” instead of begging Him for help.  And the truth is our hearts crave that independence from God’s presence, which is why Eve ate the fruit [4].

But in those moments we forget that Satan is just playing with us.

We have no hope to withstand his temptations because Satan knows what we want more than anything in life…to be the one who makes the rules.

And with every defeat God allows a voice in our heart that says “there must be more to life than this” becomes louder.


  1. no sin, pain, suffering, sadness  ↩
  2. you can’t be serious, God couldn’t have really said that!  ↩
  3. In a way Satan is correct since they don’t physically die right away, but their spiritual death (separation from God) is immediate  ↩
  4. It promised she would make the rules  ↩

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