Pember on Eve’s Temptation

I’m still slowly making my way through another read of G.H. Pember’s book, Earth’s Earliest Ages. While I’m finding occasional things I disagree with, I continue to be amazed by the man’s skill with words and the wisdom that God granted him on various subjects. I’m going to continue to post quotes from the book periodically.

Today, I’m posting three quotes pertaining to Satan’s temptation of Eve. Enjoy.

(1) And so by his brief, but most skillful, interrogation [Satan] begins to envelop [Eve] in the mists of error from at least five outspringing suggestions.  First, he throws her off her guard by his assumed ignorance.  Secondly, he stirs up vanity from the depths of her self-consciousness by giving her an opportunity to correct and instruct him.  Thirdly, he uses the term Elohim, and not the covenant name Jehovah, to represent the Creator as far distant, and as having but little concern with His creatures.  Fourthly, he puts in a doubt as to whether God had uttered the prohibition, and hints at the possibility of a mistake.  And lastly, he insinuates the blasphemous thought that harshness and caprice on God’s part are not inconceivable, but may sometimes be expected.  (G.H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages, Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1982, p. 89)

(2) Solemn is the warning which the analysis of [Eve’s] thoughts affords to her descendants, to the offspring by whom her own sad path is ceaselessly trodden.  For how often, when we are perfectly aware of some direct command of God which we do not wish to obey, are we seduced into an exaggeration of its magnitude and its inconvenience, till at length, by the continual play of evil imaginings, we almost arrive at its impossibility.  At the same time we strive to diminish its importance, and the penalty which its neglect is likely to involve, not perceiving that, while we are thus working out our own will in defiance of the will of God, His Holy Spirit is gradually withdrawing from us, and that our God-consciousness – or, as it would ordinarily be termed, religious feeling – is becoming weaker and weaker.  Not so, however, the sin within us, which is proportionally growing and acquiring strength; till at last, when our eyes are again opened, we find it like some horrible tumor, which, loathsome and painful as it is to bear, has been so long neglected that it will scarce leave life in us if it be removed.  (p. 90)

(3) Does not the readiness with which [Eve] received the daring [deception of Satan] show the necessity of our present state of weakness?  Does it not sufficiently explain the fact that a broken and a contrite heart is the first indispensable condition of entering into the Kingdom of the Heavens?  (p. 91)

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3 Responses to Pember on Eve’s Temptation

  1. ian vincent says:

    Hi brother!

    In addition to this, i was reading recently somewhere someone remark that it wasn’t until Adam took a bite of the fruit that both their eyes were opened. Eve’s eyes were not opened until after Adam partook. Speaks of Headship and them being one flesh, eh.

    Theoretically, if Adam had refused to eat, then perhaps Eve’s sin would not have been imputed to her? We don’t know, but it looks like it was Adam who sealed their fate.

    Scripture also says later that in Adam all died, that sin entered the world thru one man, not Eve.

    1 Cor 15

    Just some thoughts.

  2. Jesus Wins says:

    Nice Article and i do agree with Ian. But when we get to Heaven, we’ll know, won’t we?

  3. Braden says:

    Hey, brother Ian! Great to hear from you again. I’m not so sure we can say that it was only when Adam ate that their eyes were opened. I mean, it kind of says that, but it seems they ate more or less one after the other.

    Same goes for Eve’s sin being imputed. I think it sure would have made for a mess had Adam not eaten! But whether Eve’s sin wouldn’t have been imputed, I’m not sure about that. After all, she received the command through Adam; and whether she messed it up on her own or whether he had transmitted it wrongly (the bit about being forbidden to touch it), she still had God’s original command correct and was thus accountable for it – I would say in just the same way you and I are accountable to God’s commands even though they have been delivered to us through the pens of other men, as opposed to from God’s own mouth.

    And you’re right, “in Adam all died.” Interesting, that. What I also find interesting is Eve’s susceptability to delusion but Adam’s susceptability to rebellion. I’ve also always been fascinated (and somewhat saddened) by how brief in scripture the world remained without sin. It doesn’t say how much time passed between Adam’s creation and his fall, but it sure isn’t many verses! I find that sobering.

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