I can’t remember how long ago it was, but it’s been several years since someone first pointed out to me what Satan actually said in Genesis 3:1.
For some reason, I was always under the assumption that Satan just came after Eve with both barrels, tempting her to sin right away by just telling her how awesome the fruit was.
The truth, as it turns out, is much more subtle than that. Instead of questioning whether the command to “not eat” had any merit, he questions whether or not it ever even existed in the first place.
The Power of Second-Guessing
Think about just how crafty this micro-twist actually is. Eve knows that God said…something. That something most likely involved the fruit and the trees.
But what was it that God actually said? Did He say don’t touch it? Don’t eat it? Don’t look at it?
If you’re staring down temptation in your own life, the last thing you want to do is second-guess what it is that God actually said. That momentary doubt is the perfect amount of space for Satan to grab hold of and exploit.
“Did the Bible say not to look at a woman, or did it say don’t linger? Hmmm…”
“Did God say not to lie, or did He say not to exaggerate?”
“Did God say to go to Church, or did He say to encourage each other?”
Chances are, if you had a few moments, you could think your way through those statements above. But when you’re in the heat of the moment, as Eve was, that’s the last time you want to be questioning things.