Satan’s routine is pretty predictable. He really only has a handful of strategies that he uses:
- Attack God’s Word
- By twisting what God really says.
- By attempting to undermine God’s Word through “science” and intellectualization.
- Leverage our pride and arrogance against us.
- Tempt us with earthly rewards.
In Genesis chapter 3 he plays his whole hand, exposing every weapon he has available to use against us. First he attacks God’s words:
” Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
Here’s what God actually said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Satan not only misquotes God in this interaction with Eve, but he even calls God a liar casting his own sins upon God. This is why satan is called “The Father of Lies”. Look at how satan responds to Eve’s answer:
“You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)
Weapon #2- Pride and Arrogance. Satan was correct in that after Eve sinned her eyes would be opened. She would know good and evil. The lie here is, “you will be like God.” She would not be like God in how she knew good and evil. God knows good and evil from the aspect of His holiness and omniscience. Eve would come to know good and evil from the side of evil. Once she sinned she forever separated man from God. We know good and evil as evil sinners, God knows good and evil as our perfect and holy Heavenly Father. This is a huge difference. So yes Eve did come to know good and evil: no she did not become like God in how she came to know and understand good and evil.
He then uses weapon #3 once he has created sufficient doubt in her mind. Eve looks at the fruit of the tree and sees that it is pleasing to the eye, as well as desirable for gaining wisdom, so she eats some and gives some to Adam.( Genesis 3:6)
In Matthew 4, these are the exact same attacks satan uses against Jesus. He twists God’s Word and quotes scripture out of context. He tries to get Jesus to endanger His own life to simply force God to prove His love by saving Him. Finally, satan offers Jesus wealth and power if He will just bow down and worship him.
I challenge you, examine your own life and look where you have fallen. I am confident you will see at least one of the tactics at play, possibly all three like in these two examples. Now that you are aware of satan’s arsenal be on guard. Satan is going to attack you with some variation of one of these three approaches. Understanding the weapons satan is using against us is the best way to recognize when he is attacking and trying to lead us astray. Stay on guard: read God’s Word and pray often.