Temptation is a cheap promise to gain you something illegally or illegitimately that God has or will give you in His grace. If the gifts of God were not so good, the enemy would not try to duplicate them with cheap imitations. Temptation will not work if you know what God says and believe it.
We left the blue blooded couple in the garden their heavenly Father had bequeathed them. Their life was one of paradise with only one prohibition. They were not to eat from the tree of good and evil. A prohibition demands a choice and choice is exercised freely through the will, another gift from God. Love is a choice, not an emotion, and the test of the garden was whether or not the man and the woman would choose to love their Father by obeying that single command. Love, according to Jesus, is doing what He says. Simple—to the point—not complicated.
God began to unveil His plan by walking with them and teaching them that relationship—“who I am”—was far more important than servitude—“what you can do for Me.” He was not a monarch demanding entertainment, but a Father who desired intimacy. No performance to please Him, just the simple practice of enjoying His presence.
That’s the exact place the enemy attacked—the relationship—by questioning the Father’s goodness and intent. “You will not die—you will be like God,” he declared. Stop for a moment and look at the emptiness of that temptation. They were already “like God,” created in His likeness and image. The devil sold this couple something they already possessed and in return their relationship with God was fractured. Their ability to mirror God’s glory was broken. Along with a shattered relationship, he bamboozled them out of their ability to reproduce the perfect image and likeness of God and their title deed as rulers of the earth. They believed a cheap promise when they already possessed the real deal.
Unable to fulfill God’s mandate, Adam and Eve fell from their privileged positions and were shackled by sin and bound up in their self-forged chains of bondage. Their desire for relationship was distorted into a desire for prestige, power, and position. Their reflection of God was distorted by the cracks of their brokenness.
The Old Testament account is littered with the failures of humanity in their attempt to gather up the broken shards of glass and glue the pieces of the mirror back together. No such luck. Therefore, there had to be another way…and there was.
God was steadily at work with a plan to restore the relationship and take back the title deed. Throughout the Old Testament He continued to stress His role as Father (Ex. 4:22-23; Hos. 11:1; Isa. 63:16; 64:8). And then in the last verse of the last book of the Old Testament the Holy Spirit sets the agenda—the purpose for the entrance of the Messiah—the turning of the hearts—the reconciliation of the Father to the sons and the sons to the Father. Relationship would be restored and the broken mirrors would be replaced with shiny new ones.