And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
The downfall of Eve was a gradual process, and the serpent knew just what buttons to push. He engaged her in a conversation about the one thing that had a condition upon it. He focused her mind upon the only thing in the garden that he could exploit for his own purposes. When Satan asked Eve about the tree, she probably started paying more attention to it than she otherwise would have, wondering about that forbidden fruit, trying to figure out why she shouldn’t eat it and considering what might happen if she did.
Eve knew God’s command, even if she hadn’t recalled it perfectly. But Satan had gotten her thinking, so she considers this tree there in the midst of garden. She saw that it was good for food, but there were plenty of trees that God gave Adam and Eve to eat from. It was pleasant to look at, but so were all the other trees that God had made. So it must have been that third thing that made her really want to take a bite—that wisdom, that special knowledge that God didn’t want them to have.
Why do we seek after those things we were never meant to have? Why are we so drawn to the exact things that God says no to? Why are we always so unsatisfied with the abundance around us when there is one thing off-limits to us? We face this same assault by Satan in our lives today. We’re going along just fine in our lives, but then he comes and whispers in our ear, plants a seed, turns our attention toward that one thing he can use against us. And then suddenly we’re gazing longingly at that tree we can’t have when there are so many others that we can.
But we’re not doomed to fall into sin. Eve had the right idea. She tried to combat Satan with the Word of God, but she got a little mixed up. So she thought about that tree, looked upon it, and then gave in. But Jesus also faced temptation from that same serpent without sinning, and we can, too. When we rely on the Word of God, we can fend off the attacks of Satan. When we can turn our minds to the bigger picture of what God wants for us, we won’t focus on that small thing Satan wants us to lust after. And when we’re trusting God and not ourselves, He will give us the strength to resist any temptation.