Posted by: Ety W. | July 29, 2008

Deceived

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Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.” Gen. 3:13 (NASB)

Deceive – Strong’s 5377 – נשׁא – nasha’ = to lead astray, i.e (mentally) to delude, or (morally) to seduce.

Why the woman? When we start looking at what went wrong in the Garden of Eden, we are eventually faced with this question. It seems reasonable to assume that the serpent chose the most likely target. But what was it about the woman that made her easier to deceive? Scripture doesn’t offer a clear-cut answer. It wasn’t because she was spiritually weaker than her husband (Gal. 3:28). In fact, Eve was not tempted any differently than anyone is tempted.

How was that? Compare Gen. 3:6 with 1 John 2:16. Eve saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), it was a delight to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and it was desirable to make one wise like God (spiritual pride). These are the same ways we’re all tempted, including Jesus.

Lust of the flesh:

… He became hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones become bread” John 4:2b-3

Lust of the eyes:

Again, the devil …. showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me. John 2:8-9

Spiritual pride:

Then the devil took Him into he holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You’ ” John 2:5-6a

On top of that Eve believed the same lie we all believe, “You can get away with it” (Gen. 3:4).

So what was it that made Eve easier to deceive? Based on everything that we’ve studied from Titus 2, I have an opinion.

It is often said that men are initiators and women are responders. Personally I believe this is true, though I cannot offer a verse or passage in Scripture which clearly states this. I do think it can be inferred from Scripture. This concept is often criticized as being nothing but cultural stereotypes, as though being responsive is a weakness. Yet I think our role as responders is a strength. For one thing it is necessary for nurturing our children. For another, it gives us a mental and emotional flexibility which, aside from our rebellious sinful natures, enables us to submit to our husbands more easily than they are able to submit to their authority.

On the other hand, it can be exploited by others –

For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women …. 2 Tim. 3:6

Now, without chasing a rabbit down a rabbit trail, I would like to ask you ladies a question. Have you ever been approached by a man who wants you to ask or convince your husband to do something? He has an excellent argument for what he wants, so that you agree to speak with your husband about it. But, have you asked yourself why this man is coming to you about it rather than going to your husband? If Timothy 3:6 is true, than it may be because such a man thinks the woman will be easier to influence in order to get what he wants.

Since it is in our natures to respond to the needs of others, care must be taken that this is not taken advantage of. I think that this is why the serpent chose Eve as his target. I think it is also why the husband was given the responsibility to spiritually protect his wife –

Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. Eph. 5:25-27

I think it is another reason why the wife is to submit to the husband rather than the other way around; to protect her from a multitude of influences, all of which she may be inclined to respond to. Her husband is to serve as a filter, to protect his wife’s spiritual purity.

Together husband and wife are to pray and seek the Lord, In a perfect world, they would function in perfect harmony and fulfill God’s plan for their lives. There would not be a need for an imposed authority structure. Yet even in a perfect world man and woman wanted to go their own way. Yes, Eve was deceived, but Adam was willfully disobedient. Neither action paints a very flattering picture for anyone.
©2008 https://encouragetheyoungwomen.wordpress.com/
In the end, the whys and wherefores don’t impact the outcome. We may feel better about understanding, but unless we are willing to trust the Lord now, and be obedient to His Word now, then we are in the same boat as the first man and woman; either deceived or willfully disobedient. I encourage you to be neither. I encourage you to trust the Lord even when you don’t understand. I encourage you to take Him at His word even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Why? Because without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb. 11:6). Let us make it our goal to always please Him.


Responses

  1. I don’t like Christians, but I did quite like this blog, it was well written, you didn’t make massive generalisations and boil everything down to good, bad, what God wants, and what people want, which seems to be a running theme in Christian preaching these days.

    However, it does seem a bit like you’re using a Bible as a reference book for life?

    “If Timothy 3:6 is true, than it may be because such a man thinks the woman will be easier to influence in order to get what he wants.” – I don’t know if this is a one off to make a point, or if you actually reference the Bible on what people’s aims and goals are in their actions, but I hope that the first is the case.

    While I think it’s fair for a good Christian to read the Bible in times of need for passages of comfort, and to try to live by the laws of the Bible (although I personally don’t agree with Christianity or a lot of what’s in the Bible,) I think it would be naive to judge what this mans aims are by what you read in the Bible.

    He could talk to the woman for any number of reasons, the man is not around, he may feel that the man doesn’t like him, and as such, he would be more receptive of his point if it came from somebody he does like (this isn’t deception in my view, the issues are all still the same, it’s just the man is avoiding instantly being shot down just because somebody doesn’t like him, even if he has a valid point.) He could be talking to the wife simply because the man is not home, or because he knows her better than the husband.

    All this is rather irrelevant if I’ve just misunderstood your point, but it did seem, on reading, that you’re trying to use a passage from the bible as a reference for your life, and I assumed since you did it here, you may well practice this in real life. If I’ve misunderstood I apologise, I was just trying to point out why it can be a tad silly to use bible verses as references to try to understand why people do things in general everyday life.

  2. Virgil, thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave such a well thought out comment.

    You are correct, I am absolutely using the Bible as my reference for life. After all, we all believe something and we all base our beliefs on one source or another. For some it may be religion, for others science, still others personal experience, etc. If I were to ask you what you believe, you would be able to tell me. If I asked you where your beliefs came from, you should be able to tell me that as well. You and I may not have the same frame of reference, but we each have one. I’ve tried a lot of belief systems, but the Bible is the only one that helped me make sense of my life experiences.

    You are also correct that it is impossible to judge the motives of the man in my illustration. Actually, the Bible agrees with you on this point, stating that only God can judge the motives of the heart. Even so, there are manipulative folks out there. It’s human nature to want our own way!

    Going back to my original question of “why the woman,” I was hoping, (perhaps not too well?), to simply use such an illustration to point out that a manipulative person will choose the most likely person (whether male or female) to try to accomplish their end. Unfortunately, women are often targeted (rightly or wrongly) as the weaker link.

    In real life of course, the safe guard is good communication between spouses. In real life, I simply tell my husband that So-and-so wishes to speak to him about thus-and-such. If the man’s intent was honest, then no harm done. If he was trying to use me to influence my husband, well, I have not put myself under any obligation to sell someone else’s point of view. The beauty of a good husband and wife relationship is that each one brings different strengths and insights to a discussion, so that there is balance in decision making.

    I’m not sure if that answers your question, but I appreciate what you are saying. Thank you for helping me to clarify.

  3. It does indeed, nice response, you seem to be able to think for yourself, which I can’t say for most Christians I’ve encountered.

  4. It’s odd that here women appear to be seen as the weaker of the 2 sexes. In Islam, women have to cover themselves because they may tempt the ment – hence men are actually seen as the weaker of the 2 sexes. Just my take on a complex issue.

    I do like what you say about Eve being decieved but Adam was willfully disobedient. Too many people try to put all the blame on Eve, and women have taken a lot of flack for that over time.

    I encourage you to trust the Lord even when you don’t understand. I encourage you to take Him at His word even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Why? Because without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb. 11:6). Let us make it our goal to always please Him.

    Very well said. And like you, I take the Bible as my framework for life. Interesting discussion going on over here!

  5. You bring up an interesting observation, Razzler, about weakness. I think that we can safely conclude that in reality, both women and men are subject to temptation; both are subject to willful disobedience, both are fully able to sin! And actually, that just points back to our spiritual equality. And that also means that in the end, each one of us will have to stand before the Lord alone, and give an account for how we lived our lives and what we did with the knowledge of truth that we personally have. No amount of blame and finger pointing will matter. Each one of us, whether male or female, is accountable for our own lives and our own decisions. That was really an eye opener when I realized that.


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