When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. (Gen3: 6)
This verse gives us a glimpse of the thought process within Eve as she partook of the forbidden fruit. One of the reasons was because it was pleasing to the eye. Eve (and Adam with her) was wrestling with a decision, the mother of all decisions. They were free to eat any fruit in the garden. But every time they passed by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they knew God’s command not to eat from it. All that changed when Satan tempted Eve and put doubts into her mind. Among the things that made her eat the fruit was that it was ‘pleasing to look at’.
‘Pleasing to look at’ was an assessment of reality based on sight. She looked at the fruit and came to a conclusion that because it was good to look at, it must be worth possessing. When we see an ad on television it is an appeal to the sight. A product is packaged so well that it appeals to us and once it captures our imagination, we must have it. It does not matter if we cannot afford it or that we do not really need it, but when that shiny new product looks so good, we must have it. While sight provides the major input, other senses can be contributory. We tend to make judgments about reality based on the sensory inputs we receive and that is a dangerous thing to do.
When we find something ‘pleasing to look at’ we follow by attempting to possess it. It is a natural sequence that Eve followed and was later seen before the destruction of the world.
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (Gen 6:1-3)
The sons of God had to possess the daughters of men who were beautiful to behold and brought judgment on the world. It is a pattern that continues in the world today. Man goes to great lengths to possess what is pleasing to his eyes (or other senses) and so ends up sinning- be it overspending, getting into addictions or being unfaithful in a relationship. David’s sin with Bathsheba is striking.
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”(2 Samuel 11:2,3)
The whole disaster started with David seeing Bathsheba as ‘pleasing to the eye’.
The erroneous assumption that possessing what is ‘pleasing to the eye’ can bring fulfillment leads man into sin.
Finally, following the urge to be led by whatever is ‘pleasing to the eye’ demonstrates a lack of trust in God. Eve simply had to trust God on the fact that not eating the fruit was the better option. Every time we are led on the road to live by our senses, we fail to lean on to God.
Do we choose to adhere to a reality defined by God or one defined by our senses? Living by what is ‘pleasing to the eye’ contradicts the reality of this world as framed by God and places man on a self-destruct mode.
- WALKING ON WATER
- THE TOWER OF BABEL