There is a strange proneness in those that are tempted to say that they are tempted of God, as if our abusing God’s gifts would excuse our violation of God’s laws. God gives us riches, honours, and relations, that we may serve him cheerfully in the enjoyment of them; but, if we take occasion from them to sin against him, instead of blaming Providence for putting us into such a condition, we must blame ourselves for perverting the gracious designs of Providence therein.
Eve laid all the blame upon the serpent: The serpent beguiled me. Sin is a brat that nobody is willing to own, a sign that it is a scandalous thing. Those that are willing enough to take the pleasure and profit of sin are backward enough to take the blame and shame of it. “The serpent, that subtle creature of thy making, which thou didst permit to come into paradise to us, he beguiled me,” or made me to err; for our sins are our errors.
Learn hence, (1.) That Satan’s temptations are all beguilings, his arguments are all fallacies, his allurements are all cheats; when he speaks fair, believe him not. Sin deceives us, and, by deceiving, cheats us. It is by the deceitfulness of sin that the heart is hardened. See Romans 7:11,Heb 3:13. (2.) That though Satan’s subtlety drew us into sin, yet it will not justify us in sin: though he is the tempter, we are the sinners; and indeed it is our own lust that draws us aside and entices us, James 1:14.
Let it not therefore lessen our sorrow and humiliation for sin that we are beguiled into it; but rather let it increase our self-indignation that we should suffer ourselves to be beguiled by a known cheat and a sworn enemy. Well, this is all the prisoners at the bar have to say why sentence should not be passed and execution awarded, according to law; and this all is next to nothing, in some respects worse than nothing.
Cf. Gen 3:11-13
– Matthew Henry