2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Satan makes the woman, whom we later know as Eve, part of his deception, his con-game. We learn in verse 6 that Adam is with her, even though it is often told by preachers that Adam could not possibly have stood by and watched his wife get sucked into the con but later we also see that Adam is quick to blame even God for his actions. Adam is not tricked here, as we understand by what Paul said in a letter to Timothy. He stands by and watches what his wife is being pulled into.
1Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Eve acknowledges that she and Adam are permitted to eat of every tree but one. In fact, she goes beyond what God actually said, in neither shall ye touch it. We often do that with doctrine. God ordains a thing and we go beyond what He said to satisfy our own imaginings, making our new-improved rule God’s standard, when in reality, we have played the part of Eve.
Here, then, Satan makes a shocking statement, calling God a liar or calling into question what God meant by what He said. This is one of the most profound examples of wickedness in history, repeated by every drunk and drug addict before they take their first drink or shoot-up the first time, every sexually immoral person considering their lust, every teenaged boy with a heavy foot on the gas pedal, and every hot-tempered man of violence. Ye shall not surely die. Oh yes, you will, Sparky.
Some people might claim that Satan is telling Eve that they have misunderstood what God meant by what He said but what God said was so clear as to not be uncertain at all. Satan simply denies that what God said was true.
Satan basically tells them that God has tricked them and what He is doing is preventing them from being as gods themselves, having a knowledge of good and evil. Their eyes would be opened. But, while what he is suggesting seems desirable, being as gods, knowing good and evil comes at a price too horrible to contemplate, for death is at the end of that road. To disobey God when there was only one thing you could do on earth that constituted disobedience and the consequence of that one thing was too high a price to pay for such knowledge was the great tragedy of history.
We believe that we must have what we want and to get it we are willing to either deny that what God says will happen will actually happen, or as in the following passage, we simply justify it in our mind.