Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both were opened…
– Genesis 3:1-7a
It’s a familiar story to many.
The Bible begins with the story of how God created the earth and everything about it out of nothing in 6 days and set the example to take time away from labor on the 7th. Perfection was personified in a garden, as God communed with mankind and all of creation. Adam and his wife Eve were given charge of the garden and enjoyed all of its beauty – except for the one tree God had said not to eat from. God had a reason. That was sufficient. Enjoy – and obey – and enjoy. That was Adam and Eve’s mandate.
Then, in Genesis 3, we read how the serpent in the garden tempted Eve to question God and His motives. Hmmm… “Did God actually say…?” and, when she succumbed to the questions and doubt to the point of doing what she had known was wrong, she stopped questioning and took action. The forbidden fruit was offered, justified, and accepted. She took the bite. She handed it to Adam and he took the bite. Together, they took the bite that plunged mankind’s relationship with God out of the realm of intended communion, and humanity out of the Garden to walk and talk with Him in sweet and unbridled fellowship no longer.
We read the story of Adam and Eve, and we may have a tendency to mutter a quiet tsk tsk tsk of shameful judgement under our breath and roll our eyes in disdain. We look back in hindsight with “all of our experience” in dealing with similar situations and think:
If only… Our world would still be wonderful – If only… She didn’t take the bite.
But… We all take the bite. Constantly. Consistently. Continuously.
Each day and throughout each day temptation rears its pretty head and wiggles its manicured index finger our way and beckens to us. Surely God wants you to have this. Your life isn’t complete without this, You were made for better. You should have-do-be this. And even though contentment through faith and trust in Almighty God is His vehicle for peace and joy, the allure of more is too much and too tempting so… We take the bite…
Too. Just like they did.
It’s too pretty to pass up, until the moments after we take the bite. Then we look back and think: If only… I didn’t take the bite.
The next time you hear the story of Adam and Eve, put your name in the starring role and remember… We all fall victim to temptation – no one is immune – and there by the grace of God go I.
– 1 Corinthians 10:12