When I started writing this article, it was originally named Story of the Fall. As I began to research and develop the content, I quickly began to realize it is actually the story of salvation. The story of grace. This was the plan from the beginning.
The Garden was the original plan. Everything we needed was readily available. Adam and Eve worked even then. Work has always been part of the plan. They tended the Garden and the animals in it.
The second chapter of Genesis introduces us to choice. There was always a choice. This story is so deep in meaning. Every aspect represents how we relate to God and others still today.
God instructed Adam he could eat of any tree or plant except one. Seems like fairly simple instructions. How hard could it be to follow such a simple rule?
Never underestimate Satan. Satan showed up to kill, steal, and destroy. That has never changed. He showed up here, in the garden.
I can just picture Eve out and about, enjoying the scenery. Satan immediately lied to her. Which is exactly what we should expect from him. It’s about recognizing his lies.
Remember when we taught our kids that people who kidnap may not look like a “bad” person. They get to our kids with ice cream and puppies. They can quickly convince a child they want good things for them and know exactly what to say to get the child to trust them. This is exactly what Satan did to the woman. He lied and told her the fruit from the tree would make her more like God.
It was only recently that I realized she wasn’t being defiant. She had a desire to be more like God just like we do. In her zeal she did not recognize Satan.
How often do we do this? Something comes our way. It seems so perfect, exciting, and good. We don’t stop to make sure it lines up with God’s plan. I mean surely it is ok. God wants good things for us, right?
Three Needs Met
The fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom. What could go wrong? So she ate. And gave some to Adam. Everything changed.
The fruit satisfied three major needs for all of us.
1. Our essential need for sustenance. A need that God had sufficiently taken care of in the garden. A need that we are to rely on God to meet.
2. It was pleasing to the eye. The eye is the entryway for so much of what goes wrong in our lives. When we allow our eyes to linger on things that are not of God, a seed is planted in our hearts. It only takes a little time to become rooted and grow.
3. It would increase her knowledge and understanding. A desire to improve ourselves.
When we look at this scenario in this way, it is easier to see why Eve believed the lie. It is also easy to see how quickly we can become deceived.
Our daily activity needs to align with the word of God. Not just what seems right at the moment. Our daily walk requires time in prayer. It requires time in scripture. It requires listening to His guidance. We have to know God so well that we are able to recognize when someone or something is not from God. Even when it appears to be the right path. Proverbs 14:12 says: There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Eve was approached by Satan. The story should have ended there. Eve should have recognized Satan and turned away. Adam should have seen the danger and protected her. This passage is loaded in symbolism and learning opportunities for relationships today. Eve was out wandering. Alone and vulnerable.
Now don’t lose me here. I have been all over this country alone. I’m not saying as a woman we can’t go out and about. I’m saying God made us to do life together.
Let’s be honest here, all of us feel better when we have someone close that we know has our best interest in mind. This may be a close friend. Once we are married it should include our spouse. An accountability partner. Not someone who will go along with whatever we say we want to do. Someone who will call us out when we are about to do something dumb.
This dynamic only works if you fully believe the person has your best interest in mind. Which is exactly why we must fully understand the character of God.
It is easy to surrender to God’s plans when we are confident His plans are to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future. We can fully trust that He always knows best. It is not our battle. The battle is won and we are on the winning team. This plan started right here.
So Eve got distracted. It started with a simple conversation. A conversation Eve should have walked away from. A conversation Adam, as her companion and accountability partner should have spoken up and rescued her from. We don’t know the actual time frame, but we do know that a seed was planted in her mind. It then took root and grew until she took action.
The simple act of eating the fruit is not just about disobedience. It is about entertaining the idea that we need not fully rely on God for who we are. It’s
taking our future in our own hands and taking control. This simple act of disobedience opened them up to consequences and understanding of things they were not intended to experience.
After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, their innocence was lost. Shame came in. They realized they were naked. They hid from God. This is exactly what we do even now. When we sin, when we are not walking in step with God’s plan, we hide and feel guilty. But God came searching for them. He knew what had happened and He still loved them.
He didn’t in His anger throw them from the garden like so many say. He called for them. As Adam came forward from hiding he answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked: so I hid.” The man proceeded to blame the woman, and the woman proceeded to blame the serpent. Does this sound familiar? We still respond this way. We follow our own path, we get in a bind, we feel shame. Then we don’t want to admit it, so we blame others.
The First Sacrifice
God’s grace started right here. He killed animals to cover the nakedness and shame of Adam and Eve. Animals were not eaten before this. The plants were sufficient. It was the first blood sacrifice required as a consequence of our sin. It was a foreshadowing of the future perfect sacrifice of Jesus. His blood would be a permanent covering of all sin. A final sacrifice for all people.
The story of salvation began in the garden. God then banished Adam and Eve from the garden. Typically this part of the story is viewed as an angry God gets mad and throws them out as punishment for their sin. But even the act of banishment was an act of grace. It was true, Adam and Eve now had knowledge of good and evil like God. But this was not a positive thing. This knowledge brought with it hardship, pain, and struggle. There was a second tree in the garden. The Tree of Life. If Adam and Eve ate of that tree now, they would live forever in their sin. God did not want that for them. So He made them leave. And placed guards at the gate so they could not return.
First we will recap the typical way this story is told. Eve ate the apple from the only tree God said she couldn’t in a blatant act of disobedience and talked Adam into it as well. Then God got mad at them for not doing what He said and kicked them out of the garden as a punishment.
What actually happened is much different. Eve simply forgot who God is. In an attempt to become closer to God, she listened to a lie and decided there was a better path for her. Then Adam just followed along, not wanting to cause an issue, instead of being the spiritual leader he was meant to be.
God was heartbroken. He came searching for them to help. He knew they would suffer now. He wished they had chosen the path He knew was better for them. But as a loving father does, he helped them with their mess and protected them from what they had done. He knew there was a long term plan that was bigger than they could understand. His son was right there with them when this all happened. He knew his future already. The sacrifice he would make. To restore what was lost here in the garden. A pathway for communion with God here on earth. Salvation by grace.
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