Reading: Genesis 3:4-5
Continuing on from the previous part, we are still considering the destructive course that ensues by following the false promises of Satan. The first promise that Satan made to Eve was impunity: he said there are no consequences to sin.
The second promise was the promise of improvement: “Your eyes shall be opened” (verse 5). Notice the venom, the unfathomable deception, as Satan leads the infant humanity to the rim of the deadly precipice. The promise was based on the idea that God does not want you to walk in darkness. He wants you to better yourself, to expand your education and experience of the world—to know “good and evil.”
Having removed the danger-sign, he replaces it with a sign reading “Play-Area.” “There is no danger here.” In fact, he says, “This is an exciting adventure you are about to experience.” Standing looking over the cliff into the bottomless pit, Satan proceeds to convince humanity of the exhilarating thrill of a free-fall, the advantage of knowing good and evil.
The third promise was the promise of independence: “You shall be as God” (You is singular, the same word as at the beginning of the verse 5). When Satan said, “Ye shall be like God,” he did not mean in happy conformity to God but in self-sufficiency (Isaiah 14:13f). The devil’s promises are never small; he holds out complete satisfaction never relative or incomplete. He says, “Do this one thing and you will be completed, you will be fulfilled; there will be nothing else you will need or want.” Completeness is always held out as the goal of sin. Everything else is insignificant, unimportant, trivial except that one thing which the devil presently holds before us! But after the disappointment we realize that there is no satisfaction with the devil—he is still the father of lies.
“Nothing has cost men dearer than striving to be like God in greatness and power, rather than in goodness and holiness and truth.” Thomas Manton (19:170).