We are starting in Genesis 3-4, looking at the words of Eve. Before we start, let’s get an overview of who Eve was. She was curious, gullible, and intelligent. Sounds like a weird combination, let’s look closer at why she had those characteristics.
Before we do that, there is one thing that we tend to forget- that God created a perfect world, but not perfect people. He gave us free will, which allows each one of us to choose to go against the grain, against the perfect world that was created and the perfect God who created it.
We tend to set expectations higher for our church going friends or family, and are disappointed time and time again, because we can see their sin clearer than our own. Meanwhile, they can see our sins clearer than their own! Ironic, isn’t it.
I think we do this with Eve. We have huge expectations for the first woman created… because she, after all, was created in the perfect environment to live a sinless life- or was she? We set that bar high for her the moment she is created in Genesis 2:21-25. She is a miracle… therefore this miracle should be perfect. But Eve was never perfect. Eve had the ability to make decisions, to choose good or choose evil just like us.
Let’s look at the dialogue the moment Eve was tempted by the serpent in Genesis 3:1-6
“Now the serpent was craftier 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 the fruit of the trees 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 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 ate.”Genisis 3:1-6
When reading this passage through several times, I have tons of questions running around in my head… bear with me as I struggle to answer them one by one.
1)Why do we tend to have less grace with Eve when she is tempted by the same devil we are tempted by each and every day? Is he not the same crafty snake that he was then?
I truly think that we are holding Adam and Eve to such a higher standard because, why not- they physically walked with God! They had a daily relationship with Him, the creator, and opportunity to learn so much about the world. I love to imagine the conversations they must have had, and often wonder if they were simple, or complex.
By the gullible nature we see in Eve it is safe to say she lived in a bubble… a perfect, beautiful bubble, where trust had never been broken, and firsthand knowledge of evil was non- existent. (as far as we know)
Have you ever had a friend who was sheltered growing up? Seems like they were always the most gullible when put in situations of temptation, not because they were “bad” people or “weak,” but because they were not wise. Could Eve have had an idea that she didn’t carry the wisdom that the Lord had? I can imagine so.
In no way do I think that Eve was unintelligent, and many sheltered people are very intelligent, but when it comes to being out witted by a clever person with ill intentions, I am afraid the sheltered person will more likely fall prey than someone who knows that “clever” spirit from previous experience. God knew what the serpent was capable of, I do not believe Eve did.
The serpent in the garden is the same serpent lingering in our world today. He was clever then, and he is clever now. I have fallen prey too many times to count in my lifetime, so I can relate with Eve. We have that in common, don’t we? So, let’s not give her a bad rep just because she was the first one to fall prey. God shows her grace, and so will we!
2) On a scale of 1-100, 1 being a lie, and 100 being truth… where would the serpent’s argument about the fruit fall? Would it tip toward truth? or linger nearer to a lie? And would this clever % be the reason Eve gave in? What would that % be for the serpent to trick me, how near to truth would he NEED to create his deception for me to fall prey?
To answer this question- in which opinions will very, we must look at how close to the truth the serpent’s words were. Your opinion might vary from mine, and that is perfectly fine. By no means am I saying I know it all, this is just what I have gathered.
The serpent’s first words were in question form. He made it seem like he knew enough to carry on a conversation about the fruit with Eve but wanted her to feel like she knew more than him, so he phrased his question by exaggerating the truth- taking it from one tree to all the trees in the garden… which hooked Eve into correcting that portion of his question.
This is so easy for us to do! When we feel like we know more than others what does that feed into? Pride and Ego. He is, after all, a clever snake!
Women tend to add to things… maybe because we are communicators, and we like to explain things in detail. We see Eve trying to explain what God said, and when she does, she adds – “neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” When we look at what God actually said to Adam about the forbidden fruit, in Genesis 2:17, it only says “if you eat it you will die.” We, as women tend to add rules, not necessarily out of deception, but for more protection. Maybe Eve thought she needed that extra rule there to help her overcome any temptation that could arise. I do this a lot, with a lot of things in my life and my kid’s lives.
The serpent knew God did not say anything about touching the fruit, so that was his chance to show Eve he was wiser than she… setting up his clever ruse to tempt her with wisdom. Satan knew that if he could get Eve to eat the fruit, that she would indeed know good from evil because she would have sinned and would be separated from God. So, that is what he did. He truly did out-wit Eve with his clever words.
So- on the scale of 1-100 what was this deception? I would say close to 99% truth. The serpent was very clever. He did not lie once, yet he was able to distort the perception of the truth by the way he worded things.
WOW! How many lies are out there today that are the same 99% truth? Ladies- Eve did not have the Bible to test those lies- as we do, and we STILL fall into the trap! 99% truth is still a 1% lie- which makes it false, and in turn is a sin if we believe and act that it is true.
I have fallen prey to much lower a percentage than Eve, maybe you have too.
3) God created that tree, he created that fruit, and all that he created was “good,” it says so in Genesis 1: 11-12. So, what about this fruit was bad enough to separate Adam and Eve from the Lord?
God created so many things that are good… yet the enemy was sent to this earth to find ways to corrupt that good and turn it into evil- I am not saying that “thing” is evil- but because of how we pervert it, the outcome can be sinful.
For example, sex, God created sex to be a good thing within the confounds of marriage. Sex is good, it has benefits, and will bring us closer to our spouse and to God, if we obey the Lord’s command to only have sex when we are married then is a good thing. If we pervert sex by disobeying God’s rules about sex, it has become a bad thing, and in turn leads to sin and consequences. I don’t feel the need to explain all the terrible outcomes when we disobey God in the command, but you see my point, right?
So, to wrap this up, it was not the actual fruit that was bad- it was the disobedience of Adam and Eve when they ate it that immediately separated them from God.
4)Why didn’t Adam say anything? He was there!
You know… I have no idea! Lol! Men tend to be in their own world sometimes, maybe he was talking to another animal or was distracted by something nearby? But I often wonder how he could be there and not pipe in on this monumental conversation unless he was distracted or not paying attention. I feel like if he was attentive to the conversation that was happening between the serpent and Eve, then he would have jumped in and protected Eve and himself. I know Jon would do that for me, so why didn’t Adam do that for Eve?
I have heard from many women throughout our years in ministry that husbands are struggling to be the spiritual leaders in their homes. Could this be the first example of men struggling to be the head of the home? Adam should have spoke up and corrected Eve, and Eve should have respected his decision… yet this did not happen. Adam and Eve both failed to obey God.
All that being said, Eve’s words are some of the most influential words in the Bible. Studied, dissected, ripped apart, and even jokes made about this passage have imprinted in our hearts a view of Eve that doesn’t seem fair to her.
God had grace with Eve, I am sure she is in heaven, she is part of His future and plan. God loves Eve. She messed up… her words were twisted by herself and the devil, but her heart could never be torn from the Lord. She knew Him.
Let that give us hope this evening… that no matter how many times we mess up and fall prey to the sins of this world, the enemy can never tear our hearts from the Lord.
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hands.”John 10:28
Let us rejoice in the knowledge that Eve made it to be with the Lord… and that we will too, that the enemy was able to trick her, but not able to keep her! That God’s influence over our hearts will ALWAYS be greater than the enemy’s! Amen!
Eve, she was special, she was the first woman- she set the bar- and it is more important how she ended than how she started… and it should be the same for each of us.