The Berean Expositor
Volume 7 - Page 30 of 133
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done ever since. His lie was, "Ye shall not surely die". There was no lie in the words,
"Ye shall be as gods (or God), knowing good and evil". That which was forbidden to
Adam under pain of death is held out as a mark of spiritual growth in Heb. 5: 14. The
full-grown ones, the perfect, have their senses exercised to discriminate between good
and evil. Whatever Adam may have done had no outside influence been brought to bear
upon him is not a matter for us to speculate upon. Scripture records the introduction of
an item that completely altered the whole aspect of the trial and its consequences. That
item was the temptation by a wise and superior being, enforced by deception and guile.
If we cannot recognize any alteration of the test by the introduction of this outside
temptation we may also refuse to recognize any modification of the penalty, but we
believe a little consideration will show that the introduction of an outside temptation
made a very great difference. Think for a moment of the book of Job; Satan is allowed to
test Job to the extreme, yet Job in the end receives double for his loss, and Satan has the
mortification of knowing that by the record of the book of Job, there is on permanent
record a classic example of how he overreached himself, and that out of intended evil
God brought ultimate good. Such we believe is the case in connection with the fall of
Adam. In the case of Job we are allowed a glimpse of the heavenly and invisible side of
the history, a glimpse denied to Job himself. We are, however, allowed no such insight in
the case of the temptation of Eve. With suddenness the tempter is introduced into the
narrative of Scripture. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field
which the Lord God had made." He raises questionings regarding the will and word of
God. He holds out the bait, "Ye shall be as gods" (or God); he lies by saying, "Ye shall
not surely die".  The woman was deceived, "the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty" (II Cor. 11: 3), "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in
the transgression". When Adam was asked by the Lord, "Hast thou eaten of the tree
whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Adam replied, "The woman
whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat". We cannot
believe that Adam was trifling. He stood in his shame before his God. We believe he
truthfully stated his case. He was not deceived like his wife was, but went into sin out of
attachment to the woman who had been given him. The Lord apparently accepted his
reply, for He addressed the woman, "What is this that thou hast done?" The woman's
reply also stated truthfully the case, "The serpent beguiled me and I did eat." No word of
censure, no word of judgment is addressed to the guilty pair, but the curse is pronounced
upon the serpent. Enmity also is pronounced as between the woman and the serpent,
between her seed and his, and in the pronouncing of the serpent's sentence comes the first
great Messianic promise, "it shall bruise thy head, and Thou shalt bruise his heel". Adam
and Eve must have wondered at this first great exhibition of grace. The evil one had
overreached himself.  Intent upon accomplishing the downfall of man, his very
temptation provided an opportunity for the exercise of mercy. To the woman who had
sinned under the influence of deception, and whose action and invitation had involved
Adam, the Lord says:--
"I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth
children; and thy desire shall be unto thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Sorrow is the word that is most emphasized. It occurs again in the words spoken to