Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, …Ye shall not surely die… And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; …and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:1-13)
The tragedy of tragedies! What happened in these few verses was the beginning of every tear, every broken heart, every evil thing that has ever been done on the earth, and every death. The reason that life is so hard is found right here. The whole creation is groaning with pain since this event took place. (Rom. 8:22) There is no way to calculate, or even comprehend what immense suffering and misery has been wrought from this first act of sin. How could it have happened? But the greater question is "Why has the same thing happened in every one of our lives?" The way of the transgressor and the tactics of the tempter are always the same. If we can see what happened in the Garden we can surely gain some wisdom about our own lives.
The tempter's approach never changes. He brought the object God had forbidden before Eve's eyes and provoked her mind with questions about it. He got her attention on the forbidden object and she began to gaze upon it and think about it. This is the first step in all temptation.
Then he twisted the truth with subtle words in order to cast it in a negative view. He said,
"Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
Although it was true that they were not to eat of EVERY tree of the garden this is not what God had said. THIS is precisely what God had said:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (Genesis 2:16)
That is a very positive statement, but the Serpent framed his words to cause the listener to think about God's command in a negative way. He left out God's liberal benevolence and goodness toward man and spoke as if all God was concerned about was keeping things from them.
There was a negative part to God's command, but even it was designed for their benefit out of his love for them.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17)
The devil and all those who are deceived and used by him do the same thing - they always look at the commands of God as something negative. They only hear "thou shalt not." They focus there on the forbidden rather than on the benevolence and liberality of God toward man. However, it is curious how they do not have the same way of thinking when it comes to sin,. They look only at the perceived benefits and pleasures that are offered and ignore all the negative aspects. Is it not amazing how people will trust the Serpent's lies so willingly and yet refuse to trust in God's truth so stubbornly? Is it not amazing how people will ignore the blessings and benefits of living for God and dwell on the negative, while at the same time they dwell on the promised benefits of sin, for which there is no evidence whatsoever, while ignoring it's obvious negative results? Only blind and deceived people can reason in such a way.
The next step in the tempter's subtle scheme is to direct her thinking so that she will come to a wrong conclusion. This is where the deceit happens. He simply made a statement that was not true at all and absolutely contrary to what she knew God had said. He did that with the intention of setting the wheels of her mind in motion. Every sin begins with a lie, and from that point the reasoning is flawed and headed in the wrong direction. The mind is working with false data, working from the basis of a truth that is not true at all. The lie starts begetting other lies and deceit in the mind, just like a snowball rolling down a hill. The first lie of the tempter is not to convince you, but to simply set your thoughts in motion to consider the thing and enflame your desire for it.
Next, the natural progression is to question WHY the thing forbidden is wrong. When there is doubt about what God has said, or doubt about God's motives, then the authority of God's Word is laid aside because it is no longer respected. The mind becomes obsessed with the idea that you are missing out, or being denied something. Then you become convinced that God or someone else has lied to you in order to keep you oppressed and under their thumb. Then rebellion rises up in that deceived and blinded heart and you step up into the place of God and determines for yourself what is right and wrong. Because your heart has been blinded and deceived it will approve what God has made clear that He disapproves.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, …
At this point she still has not sinned, but she is only a heartbeat away from it. This is temptation at its fever point, and all the red lights should be going off for anyone who has any understanding at all. It has become all about her now. God is no longer a consideration. Her husband and their lives together are not a consideration. The idea of facing her husband and God with what she is about to do is not even in her thoughts. The way this is going to affect her relationship with her husband and God is not a part of her thoughts at all. What appears to her to be sound reasoning and justice for herself is foolish and blind thinking that leaves out everyone and everything else in the universe. She has convinced herself that she is going to be able to do this and it will make no difference in anything except that she will "know" what it is like and will surely be better for it.
..she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
She crossed the line and stepped in. She stopped considering it and acted upon her flawed and deceived reasoning. This is the precipice from which there is no return - once you take this step you cannot take it back. It changes things forever and your life will never be the same again. Yes, it is possible to obtain forgiveness for sin from God, but most never do. Even if you do find forgiveness things will never be the same again.
And the eyes of them both were opened,
Oh yes, their eyes were opened, but it sure did not look like she expected it to look just a moment ago. The devil had led her mind to believe that things would be better, but he is a liar. Sin never makes things better.
…and they knew that they were naked;
There was immediate shame and a feeling between Adam and Eve that they had never experienced before. It would benefit us all to think deeply about that for a few moments. It was not pleasant, it was not good, it was not something to be desired, … and they sure did not feel wise anymore. They now had a lot of new feelings to deal with. Now they know what regret feels like. Now they know what it feels like for your heart to hurt. Now they know what fear feels like, and what it feels like to be a transgressor against God.
Guilt is not what people anticipate feeling before they "take of the fruit" and cross the line into sin. It is a cruel surprise that mocks them and torments their soul continually.
…and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
They ran for the darkness, for any place, or any way to hide themselves. This is what all sinners do. They are really trying to run from the guilt, but cannot escape it. As long as there is a God in heaven there will be guilt in a sinners heart. This is the one and only reason men try to get rid of God and ban him from their life and their thoughts. This is why it is so hard to get people to come to a church where God visits. The consciousness of God makes their guilt unbearable. When even the thought of sin passing through the mind leaves a stench behind it, what does it's real and permanent presence do to a soul? Adam and Eve saw their lives forever downgraded to toil, sweat, blood, tears, pain, and sorrow. This is what they saw when their eyes were opened. Satan is a liar, and he is deceiving people right now with the same tactics he used on the first man and woman. Sin ruins life, and if fact brings death when it is finished.
But thanks be unto God, He sent another Adam to take away the sin that the first Adam introduced into the world. The last Adam came to take away the sin of the world. He can actually take away the guilt of sin and make a man just before God. He can reverse the whole thing and He starts by introducing the truth into our thought process rather than the lies we have all believed.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
Just as you were led into sin by believing a lie that made you frown at righteousness and smile at sin, the process is reversed and the truth makes you look favorably on righteousness and unfavorably on sin. The mind which hears and begins to consider the truth will come to some conclusions about themselves and God and will eventually take that step over the line into redemption and salvation and forgiveness.
Next: What Sin Hath Wrought - Part 2
Straight Paths Bible Church