Everyone has a fall from grace sometime. We are not perfect and if we are honest with ourselves we can see where we had opportunities to not fall but did anyway. Also with that 20/20 hindsight we see opportunities to stop digging a hole for ourselves but just kept digging. This could be an addiction or compulsion. It could be a toxic relationship or group affiliation. It could just be a repetitive pattern of pride where we put ourselves over those we love the most or the stranger at our door.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 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. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Did God say…
The first trick of evil is to convince us that there is no objective truth and nor means of being grounded in applying that truth to our lives. I would compare it to being lost in the woods and relying on a compass that tells us where our true north is only to lose it. The other odd thing I would add to that is hearing a voice that tells you that it is broken and you lose faith in it because of heeding that voice. From there you lose your bearings.
In modern Christian application I have seen people being their own voice of doubt when objective truth is also an inconvenient. “I will pray about it” is sometimes not used sincerely but as a cover to not obey what is clearly illuminated in sources you know you should trust.
Eve makes a few mistakes early in this encounter. First, she is giving the serpent the dignity of equal footing with God. By talking with him when the agenda starts with the premise that God is not absolute opens her to compromise. Does that mean we should not dialogue with the pluralistic culture that we live in? No. Just that if you dialogue amidst the world’s marketplace, a believer in Jesus being the Truth will reach out to the ground of the other side for something that is redemptive which points to Jesus. An example is Paul talking to people in Athens and pointing to what they referred to as the Unknown God as a point of reference. Eve talked with Satan, with who she has no common ground, and allowed him into the house of her soul to be critiqued on devotion to God.
nor shall you touch it, or you shall die
Eve’s next mistake is in overstating the restrictions of God. God gives us just enough no’s to provide room for a big yes. How does a train move best? On its tracks. Not the same as putting it on it’s tracks and make it carry a building. Eve gets sympathetic to how supposedly weighty is God’s command and goes along with an exaggerated condition. If it is exaggerated restriction, maybe she can find herself a way out of it?
You will not 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.
After Eve feeds the temptation in cooperation with the sales pitch, Satan goes in for the kill. Since there is no absolute truth then there are no absolute consequence for our moral decisions. To enrich this even more, Satan adds that God does not have her best interests in heart and this will be her opportunity to be truly in the loop.
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate
So the whole time, Adam was there and silent. He was silent when he should not have been. In failing to speak up and not be a responsibility of this community of two, Adam was making a stand in all of the wrong directions that Eve was. “Not to stand, is to stand”. So said Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was Lutheran pastor in Hitler’s era who was surrounded by clergy who went along to get along. He spoke out against Hitler and participated in a plot to kill him. It cost him his life but he preferred that to losing his soul.
and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
So before they sinned, they were naked and unashamed. Now they are naked and self-conscious about how vulnerable they are without standing in the grace of God anymore and go into fleshly damage control that self-perpetuates the shame into a downward spiral. This is downward both spiritually and physically when one considers that fig leaves itch. By putting fig leaves on Adam and Mrs. Adam they make it itch. So they get the cover, but not the comfort. They need to take these off but they don’t want to. Hiding their intimate vulnerabilities is everything to them.
But it does not have to be like that to us. Among the 12 Steps is “taking a fearless moral inventory”. We need that, yet we stop ourselves from doing that because it would hinder what we think is freedom. What are our fig leaves? And how have we missed the train tracks that are under our noses that help is to move really forward?