Reading: Genesis 3:1-24
The promises of Satan are not what we often call “empty promises”; they are filled with the most venomous poison. He promises life and gives death. The promises of Satan do not leave the sinner empty; they leave him reeling and violated. Satan marks out the lines of battle; it is a clear line drawn between the word of God and the word of Satan. Eve must choose between the two. There is no middle-ground, no neutrality.
There are three promises vocalised by Satan in Genesis 3:4–5. In these promises there is not the subtlety that was used earlier. This is an all-out attack. Everything is in the open. He has planted the doubts in the mind and now he is going to move from doubting God to a radical and reckless infidelity, and he will bring Eve with him—and Adam!
The first promise of Satan was the promise of impunity. “You will not die at all.” Satan undermined the promise God had made: “thou shalt surely die” (2:17). But Satan blatantly defied this curse of death and said in essence, “God knows it is false” (verse 5).
Sin promises impunity from the consequences of sin. By this Satan takes the danger sign down from the edge of the precipice and he says, “To fall will not have any negative effect; there is no danger. This sign was misleading; let’s remove it.” What misery has come from the promises of Satan, and what misery follows those who continue to believe the “father of lies” when he tells them sin has no consequences. Don’t live in regret; don’t believe the lies of Satan.
“When sin is not mortified, it grows outrageous and never ceases acting till it has exposed us to shame before God, men and angels…. The Devil loves by lust to draw us into sin and by sin to shame; and by shame to horror and despair.”
Thomas Manton (12:63)