I have this amazing friend who, because she thinks out of the box, challenges me to do the same. Once, while out for coffee, she asked me “What was Adam’s sin?” and I had to think. The most common answer is he ate of the forbidden fruit, which is true. But, is that actually the sin? Other’s would say he didn’t stop Eve, even though Scripture tells us he was with her when she ate the fruit. Also true. Before you suck in all the air from the room and get ready to charge me up, bear with me. I promise, I am going to a deeper level with this.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1: 26-28 NKJV).
Perhaps Adam’s sin was not that he ate of the forbidden fruit, but that he forgot he was already like God. He may even have lived eternally had the fall not occurred. Scripture tells us God made man and woman in His own image, according to His likeness. God breathed life into Adam. I believe Adam was no stranger to the supernatural while in the garden. After all, God walked with him and Eve in the cool of the evening; they were able to look upon His face and take in all His glory. I’d imagine some supernatural capability would be needed there. I wonder what they talked about, but that is for another day! Adam was also given the immense responsibility to name each animal (Genesis 2:19-20). Since there are so many animals, I’d like to think he had supernatural ability in that too! All in all, they had it made in this spectacular garden with God.
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves (Genesis 3:1-7 NLT).
Part of me wants to believe animals could either a.) speak in our language, or b.) Adam and Eve could understand the animal language and converse with them as well. I’m willing to believe option b; how else could Eve understand the serpent speaking to her? The point is, she did. But, she really flubbed her answer, didn’t she? God never said they couldn’t touch it, He simply told them not to eat it. Now, Adam was with her, so why didn’t he jump in to the conversation? We don’t know if he did, or if he didn’t, Scripture doesn’t say. But, he was with her. She added something to God’s directive regarding the tree in the middle of the garden and the serpent, being the shrewdest of all the wild animals, took advantage of it. He added a lie of his own: You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (vs 4-5)
God created us, not only in His image and likeness, but with free will. He challenges us, but they are only as difficult as we make them out to be. Adam and Eve were given a simple command with a simple reason. But, they forgot who they were and believed a lie, and they fell.
Since my friend asked me the question above, I have been meditating on the creation story. I believe the tree with the forbidden fruit was a downgrade and demotion for Adam and Eve. This is speculation, but it would seem the reason for God’s command regarding the tree was that He did not want them to also carry the burden of the knowledge of good and evil. They were already like God by His creation, they walked in and with the supernatural, supernaturally provided for, able to walk with God and gaze upon His face. They had everything going for them, He blessed them and showed them favor. I’m even willing to guess aging wasn’t a factor for them either, since the Tree of Life had not been denied them. When God said they would die if they ate the fruit, He was right. They were already like God, they didn’t need fruit to make them so and because they disobeyed, they paid the price. They were booted from the garden, lost the personal fellowship with God along with His health and wellness benefits. To make matters worse, blood was shed to provide clothing for them, and aging began. They had become outcasts. God still cared for them, but now they
When God tells us something, He is not going to complicate it, He is not going to make it more than it is. He’ll make it understandable. Our responsibility is to heed His voice and direction through obedience, keeping to the simplicity He established. We must know that we know that we know that He always has good in store for us, no matter what we see in front of us. We must discern the voice of the Spirit from the cacophony of voices we hear daily, and we must never, ever, ever forget who we are!