In our thoughts for today, we consider the most tragic instance of human ignorance and arrogance ever recorded. Indeed, each and every one of us must face the consequences of the decisions made by the subjects of our story. I am certain these two had no real grasp of the extent to which their choice would wreak havoc on their posterity, but nevertheless their poor decision altered the course of human history with no earthly means of repairing the damage. Thankfully, God prepared a plan to undo the terrible consequences we must face for the sin introduced by Adam and Eve.
Lest we be too hard on the first couple, we must recognize they had no experiential knowledge of the consequences their sin would bring into this world. As we have a limited view of the nature and scope of our choices, Adam and Eve desperately needed the guidance of the Almighty. Fortunately for us, as with them, God has granted us “…all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Pet. 1:3). Knowing His dealings with them and us, let us learn the lesson from their folly in order to receive the life and godliness He provided.
It begins with faith. The basic meaning of the term faith is trust. God spoke plainly and truthfully to them. He also gave them ample reason to trust Him by giving them a perfect place to thrive. When Satan deceived Eve, his first step was to sow the seeds of distrust. As he painted a picture of God selfishly denying what was rightfully hers, he undermined her trust in God. Had she maintained her trust in God, our story would read much differently. Remember, “The just shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:16-17). We must take God at His word if we are to live.
Second, we must be content with what we have. Satan used the same formula to tempt Eve he uses on us today. He appealed to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (Gen. 3:6; cf. 1 Jn. 2:15-17). Is it any wonder the Scriptures speak so much about thankfulness and contentment (Heb. 13:5; 1 Tim. 6:6-9; Col. 3:15-17)? Satan shifted Eve’s focus from all the trees God had given her and narrowed her scope to the only one He denied her. We must count our blessings and never let Satan convince us God has wrongfully withheld what we deserve.
Finally, we must practice humility. The difference in that tree and the rest was its usefulness to make one wise (Gen. 3:6). The other trees in the garden were no doubt good for food and pleasing to the eyes. So, we must conclude the pride of becoming like God was the clincher for Adam and Eve. As my dad would say, they got a little too big for their breeches. Satan still tries to play on our pride and convince us we deserve the things God has prohibited. The humble heart knows God’s laws are for our good always (Deut. 6:24; Heb. 12:7-11). So, will we take God at His word, or will we be taken captive by the devil’s empty deceit (Col. 2:8-10; 2 Cor. 11:4)?