(Jeff Pollard, slightly edited)
It all started with a talking serpent! The temptation to sin that any child of God has struggled with or yielded to originated in that reptilian deceiver’s mental seduction of the first woman. The conflict was simple, as far as it goes, God’s words versus the serpent’s words.
In the sinless environment of the Garden of Eden–that holy place where God, Adam, and Eve walked in perfect communion–it hardly seems possible that a talking snake could triumph over the pure word of the Creator. But the inconceivable, the incomprehensible, happened. Eve believed the serpent instead of God! The serpent tempted, she believed him, and she ate of the fruit that God had forbidden. The result was catastrophic. The holocaust of temptation entered history. The cataclysm of God’s image-bearers surrendering to sin transformed human life. The hungry mouth of Hell began to swallow human souls!
It is never soul-satisfying.
The devil’s temptations are always thoroughly man-centered and custom-crafted for the individual. He knows that we do not all bite on the same bait.
Whatever sparkling fool’s gold it adorns itself with, temptation promises satisfaction. It talks about happiness, fulfillment, gratification, comfort, pleasure, excitement, etc. It can involve good things or foul perverse things. Either way, temptation always lures the flesh to believe its promises instead of God’s Word. When temptation results in sin, whatever sparkling, flesh-arousing promises it makes, or delightful pleasures it offers, it is never soul-satisfying for a true child of God.
So, the temptation is a serious matter with profound consequences. Believers must realize that it always sets before us a choice between God’s Word and the serpent’s word.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13