Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
I look at this verse and think, “Oh my gosh! What a trap. The whole question is a trap!” But, I get to look at Eve’s decisions and actions through the lens of hindsight. I get to study her actions and by doing so, learn some important lessons.
Eve answered the serpent based on what she thought she knew. The serpent acts like he knows something she doesn’t. But how can that be? Eve was made in the image of God Himself. She walked with God in the Garden and talked with Him. Would God tell the serpent something He wouldn’t tell her? The serpent sure makes it sound that way.: “Did God really say…”
It’s like the serpent was telling Eve, “Ha! God told you that?” The serpent was insinuating God was a liar and a holdout. But the father of lies himself was trying to project upon God what he really was: a liar, a deceiver. The lie was actually housed within the serpent like a movie projector that houses images. The serpent turned on his lies and projected them upon Eve’s image of God. Once the serpent had Eve looking at God through the lens of the serpent’s lies and narrating a different story than the one God told her, he could manipulate her.
In verse two, we find Eve answering the serpent. Genesis 3:2 “The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die.'”
First, where did Eve get her information of what God said about the trees in the middle of the Garden? Our answer to that is found in Genesis 2:15. The Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Eve had not even been created yet! Her knowledge of what God said about the two trees in the middle of the garden were second-hand. As far as we can tell from scripture, God told Adam the command about the trees, and Adam told Eve. But Eve is not off the hook. Just because she had her understanding about the two trees from Adam instead of directly from God doesn’t mean she’s innocent of her decisions and actions. All she had to do was go to her source, her Creator, The Creator of all things. The very Person who made the trees and placed them there.
This brings me to my second point: Eve chose to listen to the serpent. She let him call God a liar and then put God to the test, by eating the forbidden fruit. All she had to do was wait. The serpent had just called God a liar. Eve knew God. Why would she think God who loved and provided for her would lie to her?
But don’t we also do that to this day? We believe the lie to not trust what God says in His word. We have direct access to God through His word and prayer, yet many times we don’t go to either God’s word or prayer when we have a question or a problem. Many times we go to what another person says, what “man” says about the subject. But, we should be going to God Himself and seeking His truth, His wisdom, His understanding to lead us and guide us.
Where had Eve’s trust in God gone? Where does ours go?
Third, Eve had authority over the serpent, yet she did not exercise it. The serpent acted like he was the authority by knowing something she did not. How many times do we let those who think they know something or outright lie about God, exhibit authority over us? Our authority comes from God and what He says is true and truth. If we have truth to speak out to others though, remember that truth should always be spoken through the lens of Grace. When we’re not sure what or how to speak truth gracefully, what should we do? Learn from Eve’s mistake. We should wait. We should not continue to listen to lies or things we are not sure about. But instead, we should go to our source: The Lord God Himself, by studying His word and talking to Him in prayer.
God tells us to seek wisdom in Him and we will find it. Eve sought wisdom apart from what God had commanded and found evil. She already had knowledge of good. She lived it every day. Now she also found knowledge of evil and had to live with her decision.
The entire narrative seems to be between the serpent and Eve, until we discover something interesting.
Genesis 3:6 “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. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Wait, Adam was right there listening to the entire conversation between the serpent and Eve? He could have intervened at any time. He could have said, “Now, wait just a minute serpent. This is what God said and I heard it with my own ears.” But he didn’t because he was taking in the lie just like Eve was. Adam stood by and did not protect Eve or Himself. Adam had the very words of what God told him ready on the tip of his tongue but did not use it combat the lies of the serpent.
From the very beginning, God has given us a way to combat evil, a way to combat lies. His word. All Adam had to do was repeat the truth of what God told him to the serpent, but he didn’t. (Jesus, on the other hand, modeled perfectly how to combat satan’s lies using the word of God: Matthew 4:1-10).
Adam and Eve trusted information not from God, chose to listen and consider that information as truth and then submitted to the lie of that information. As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, we all inherited that fatal mistake. We are born into sin – we inherit separation from God. As Adam and Eve had children separated from God in their now sinful nature, we also inherit that sinful nature.
But God in His great love and mercy redeemed us back! And just like it took Adam and Eve to make a choice to whom they would listen to, we must also make a choice. Choice is God’s great loving and sometimes heartbreaking gift to us. None of us have the excuse, “I was born this way.” We are all born into sin and must make a choice to believe in the redemption that is only through God’s son Jesus, and we must repent of sin.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
God has always been with us. He never has and never will abandon us. He didn’t abandon Adam and Eve even in their sin against Him. He continued to provide for them and set a course to redeem us all. The depth and love of God never ceases to amaze me. I can say I love God because He loved me first and shows me the depths and wonders of His love.
In God there is grace and freedom. Grace doesn’t give us freedom to sin, but it gives us freedom from sin.
If you haven’t already, please make a choice to believe in Jesus and repent from your sin. My previous blog my help: A Life Changing Decision