As we begin the second installment if A Brief Analysis of Genesis Three, as I’ve stated before, though the academic aspect of dealing with Scripture is of great importance, it is the practical application that sets us free from moral bondage. Passages such as this offer great insight into the nature of deception, moral evil and sin. Though this is an early Old Testament text, we must not dismiss it as though in the “age of grace” (I know of no age in which God was not graceful) it is no longer pertinent.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
With a challenged mental perspective, encouraged by the twisting of ideas from Satan, Eve reevaluated “the tree which is in the middle of the garden.” This verse gives us our first glimpse at common “categories” used by Satan to undo person after person throughout the ages. Eve concluded that the tree was “good for food,” “a delight to the eyes,” and “desirable to make one wise.” These three categories surface again in a very specific expression in the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness and as a caution offered by the apostle John in 1 John 2:16. They represent appetites that are common to human beings but the question we must face is, “do we govern them or do they govern us?”
Everyone has desires related to fleshly appetites, from an appetite for food to an appetite for sexual fulfillment. Such appetites, in and of themselves, are not evil, they are God-given. However, when a person discards moral guidelines and assumes that fulfilling a good appetite in a forbidden way will provide ultimate value and fulfillment, they have departed from God’s design for life and will, sooner or later, suffer the negative consequences. God’s logical and loving limits are an expression of His love and designed to protect. Our culture is reeling from intoxication due to our violation of such limits, from a departure of God’s design for a healthy, fruitful life on earth.
The desire for and appreciation of beauty is a God-given gift. However, to assume that we can partake of anything, anyway, anywhere because we find it beautiful and appealing, discarding moral parameters and assuming it will serve to provide ultimate value and meaning to life, is a gross error. Combine the lust of the flesh with the lust of the eyes and you have a multibillion-dollar industry.
Many people assume they will achieve ultimate meaning, value and satisfaction through success, status and position. Such things are fine, and yet, untethered from a moral standard and used to secure self-worth, pursued as an ultimate end in life, they will lead to eventual despair and emptiness. Many successful people are also extremely miserable, often to the point of self-inflicted harm or death.
Satan has become a master at using these allurements to replace a proper pursuit of right relationship with God as the source of ultimate meaning, worth and value.
Satan attempted to use fleshly appetite, status and position and visual temptation to turn Jesus from His mission. Jesus responded accordingly, “Man shall not, live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,” and “You shall worship the lord your God, and serve Him only” (Mt.4:1-11). It took a significant commitment, an alert mind and right choices to navigate Satan’s deception. In Christ, this is available to all, apart from Him…? (Jn.15:5).
 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Mat 4:2-3)
 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'” (Mat 4:6)
 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Mat 4:8-9)