Distorted Desire: Adam and Eve
The first act of Satan’s distorted human desire can be seen with our first parents, Adam and Eve. When God created the world, everything was good, pleasing, and perfect (Gen. 1:31). Satan, however, came into the picture and sowed corruption to all God had created.
In the book of Genesis, we see God creating man last. First, God created the heavens and the earth, then the animals; then, He created human beings last. This tells us that God wanted to ensure that everything His children could ever need would be provided.
As a Father, He knew that His children had needs, and He wanted to be the one to supply these needs. He wanted their satisfaction and fulfillment to come from His hand. In this sense, these needs, desires, and cravings are all part of being human and are good in themselves.
The problem was that, despite God providing everything, Adam and Eve were made to want something more. They were manipulated and tricked to fulfill their hearts’ longing and eternity through things outside God.
Distorted Desire: The Fall
In chapter 3 of the book of Genesis, we are given an account of the fall of humankind. When the serpent approached Eve, it opened up a conversation with a question. It was not a common question, however. Instead, it was malicious, as if seemingly intentionally sowing doubt: “Did God say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Gen. 3:1, italics added).
Satan was testing Eve’s memory of what God had said—his first move in his great manipulative tactic. Eve replied, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden….” In other words, she seems to be telling the serpent that God had allowed them to satisfy their cravings with anything. But God set a boundary: they may eat of any tree, but the tree is in the middle of the garden (Gen. 3:2). And then here comes the trickery and treachery of the Enemy.
He begins to manipulate and distort Eve’s desire: from having a healthy sense of desire and craving to be satisfied by the things of God, Satan begins to sow in her the spirit of covetousness, making her lust over something that is not meant for her.
Satan said to Eve: “You will not certainly die…” Here, he was calling God a liar! God had told Adam and Eve that they were not to touch the forbidden fruit, for they would die if they did; however, Satan directly contradicts God here.
Notice how Satan first made Eve recall what God had said to her and her husband. And then, Satan manipulates the memory by saying, “You will not certainly die…”. In modern terms, what Satan was doing was gaslighting. He moves on to say, “…when you eat from [the forbidden tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
And so, the desire itself was not the problem, but the manipulation and distortion of Satan. Remember that this is exactly what the Enemy does: he makes us satisfy our legitimate needs through illegitimate means.
Note that according to the biblical account, it was only after Satan had instilled doubt and covetousness in Eve that she started to see the forbidden fruit as good for food and pleasing to the eye. It did not appear attractive to her before then.
But after the Enemy’s probing, prompting, and luring, Eve went from satisfying their desires to lusting over what they were not supposed to have. With such, their hearts disobeyed God, and was cast away from God’s presence.
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