The first lust of the eye happened in the Garden of Eden, when Eve fell into the serpent’s temptation. Because Eve believed the serpent, she became recipient of Satan’s curse. She disregarded God’s law concerning the tree at the moment she looked at it and she saw something she hadn’t seen before. That’s how her mind interpreted what she was seeing: the tree was good for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise; (then the result was that) she took of its fruit and ate; and gave some also to her husband (Gen. 3:6). As a window to the soul – intellect, will and emotion, the eyes are essential in what we see. A blind person, not having eyes that cause him to sin, has no window to fall into temptation, or direct the mind to sin. However, the eyes are not the only window to the soul; the hearing is also the other window to the soul. Eve heard the serpent’s deceitful words before she looked at the tree. The serpent’ swords misguided Eve to sin. I am sure that Eve had looked at that tree several times, but without intention to eat of its fruits. Satan’s words came to her tempting her to doubt God’s commandment: Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? The words were formulated into misguiding her to doubt God’s authority. Then Eve answered him saying, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle on the garden God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die; the serpent replied, You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity (Gen. 3:1b-6). So, it was that the woman seduced by the lust of the eyes, caused not only her soul to sin, but also the entire world.
Saved and Sustained by Grace
When our first parents sinned, God showed His grace directly to them by making them long coats of skin to clothe them. Under the mercy of God, Adam and Eve found themselves forgiven and provided for, in spite of their sinning against Him. This was an act of mercy of God toward Adam and Eve. He did not let them suffer the shame of nudity for long, although they deserved it, but He covered them in mercy and by His grace. If a coat of skin was used to cover their nudity, perhaps an animal had to be killed. We see in this, a picture of YAHSHUA’S death as the Lamb of God, covering our sins with His blood by forgiving us. That was a demonstration of love and an act of grace applied to men when they were crucifying Him. For every hammered nail in His hand and feet, for the crown of thorns, for the spear that penetrate His side, a prayer: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Those Roman soldiers, together with their centurion seeing how nature responded to their Creator’s death by thunder, lightning, darkness, earthquake, they acknowledged the fact that YAHSHUA was the Son of God. Matthew reports: When the centurion and those who were with him keeping watch over YAHSHUA observed the earthquake and all that was happening, they were terribly frightened and filled with awe, and said, Truly, this was God’s Son! (Matt. 27:54). That was God’s love covering men’s act of hatred for Him with His grace. He did not retaliate the evil done to Him, but for them He prayed. God’s grace steps over every difficult obstacle to save us. Only men’s rejection of God will hinder grace to be applied to them. God so loved the world- every human being, to the extent to offer His only Son as a sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin do to them. It was God’s grace that acted fueled by His love. Where God’s love abounds, God’s grace superabounds. John Baptist’s testimony of Him, was that out of His fullness we have all received one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift upon gift (John 1:16).
Mount Zion vs. Mount Sinai
(Exodus 19:1-20; Hebrews 12: 18-29)
“For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched, that is ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and a raging storm, and to the blast of a trumpet and a voice whose words make the listeners beg that nothing more be said to them” (Hebrews 12:18-19); “but rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living YAHWEH, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, to the assembly of the first born whose names have been written in heaven, to YAHWEH, who is the judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, to YAHSHUA, and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things that the blood of Abel” (Vs.22-24).
The difference between the experience at Mount Zion and Mount Sinai is worth noting for us to realize the wonderful grace of God toward us. When God came down to Mount Sinai to meet the people of Israel, He came expressing vehemently His holiness through fire, in a dense and black cloud that enveloped the mountain. At that time, He declared His covenant with the people and gave them the Ten Commandments. At that time, Israel had a glimpse of the extent of the holiness of God; and not being able to bear it, they begged Moses to speak to them, instead.