It was not Godís purpose for something bad to happen in the garden. Until now everything was perfect. God finished creating and Adam was happy doing what God had created him to do. If anything could go wrong it would come from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam had complete freedom to enjoy everything God made.
In the garden, Adam had everything he needed. The garden provided a beautiful surrounding and the food from the garden kept him from being hungry. God gave him the whole garden to keep as his own and he needed nothing. Everything was his. He had authority to rule over everything including the animals. He gave them all their names. He took care of the garden for God.
Adam and Eve knew all about the tree in the center of the garden. We would guess that they planned not to go near the tree and decided that they would not even touch it. They did well to stay as far away as possible.
One day as they were going about their tasks, something unusual happened. Out of nowhere an interesting creature began speaking to Eve. She never saw an animal like this and he began speaking to her. Suppose a strange looking animal began speaking to you, what would you do? Probably pay attention just like she did. This animal had been around for a long time but she did not know who he was. What this creature had to say was more important than what he looked like. He tried to get Adam and Eve to think that God was being selfish by not letting them eat the forbidden fruit. Before we go on to hear what he had to say letís find out about him.
The bible tells us he was a serpent and he was crafty. This means that he knew how to trick people into doing something wrong. He was not like any other animal that God had created. Before he came to earth he was an important Angel in Heaven. Angels and men are alike because they both can choose between right and wrong. One day this angel decided that he was not satisfied and wanted more. There was a war in Heaven and this angel, with many others like him, were defeated. They were cast out of Heaven and sent to live on earth. This serpent has different names. Some of them are: Lucifer: Satan: The devil: The God of this world, and an Angel of light. These names describe the different ways that he tempts people to disobey God. Now we find him in the Garden trying to tempt man and woman to sin
If you will notice the picture on the cover of this chapter of this book you will see a snake and the woman with what looks like an apple. The serpent was not a snake and the forbidden fruit was not an apple. The pictures are symbols. We would not want anyone to think that snakes are demons or that apples are the fruit that Eve ate.
The first time the serpent appears, is in the Garden talking to Eve. The first thing that we need to know about Satan is his purpose. Satan is Godís enemy by his own choice. His purpose is to destroy anything good that God made. Jesus said his purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. He has nothing good to offer anyone. He is called the father of lies and when he speaks the truth it always half-truths. By half-truths we mean that he either adds something or takes away from it to change the meaning.
Now we come to the story. The Bible tells us the serpent was craftier than any of the other creatures that God had made.
By craftier we mean that he had the ability to plan what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. To get someone to take from the tree was something he thought about. He is now ready to get his plan moving. We might wonder why he didnít go to Adam instead of Eve. Whatever the reason, Satanís plan, to talk to the woman, was the one that worked best for him. He knew that she was the right person and took advantage of the opportunity. We are told that Adam was with her but we donít know if he was somewhere else in the garden or close by.
The first words that Satan spoke were in the form of a question. There is nothing wrong with asking questions, but his purpose was to get her to question Godís character. The purpose of this question was to make her think that God was selfish. Why would He place that tree there in the first place? He was telling her that God was trying to take away her freedom. Freedom is the ability to do what is right. Satan doesnít know anything about freedom. His purpose is to make slaves out of everyone. Slavery is choosing to do wrong. Jesus said that those who choose to commit sin are the slaves of sin. Think of all the freedom God gave to Adam. He said everything is yours. There is only one rule: The tree. The purpose for the rule was not to cheat man out of his freedom. The purpose for the rule was to protect him from losing his freedom. Most rules that our parents give us are for our benefit. No parent makes rules because they hate us. Satan was trying to tell Eve that God was cheating her.
By asking her the question he caused her to think too long about something wrong. He led her to think that God was trying to control them by taking away their freedom. Satan caused her to question the original commandment. He told her what she was missing something important by not eating from the tree. He said that when she took of the tree she would become like God and know good and evil. Evil was something that God does not want anyone to know about. We see one more lie Satan is telling, that knowing and experiencing evil is good for us.
The second lie that Satan spoke was that they would not die. He was telling her that God didnít mean what He said. It was said only to scare her. One lie that Satan loves to tell is that God is a loving God and He is too good to punish sin. It is true that God is a God of love but He is a God who hates sin and must punish it. He is Holy and there can be no sin in his presence. Satan wants people to think that it is OK to sin because God wonít do anything about it. That is the second lie that Satan put in Eveís mind.
Satan was playing games with Eveís mind. He was giving her new information that she never heard from God. She was put in a place where she had to decide who she was going to believe. Eve was facing temptation. What is temptation? Temptation is when I am placed under pressure to do wrong. It is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted. Sin takes place when I decide to disobey God. Let me talk about sin. In Eveís case sin was disobeying Godís command. That is what sin is for us as well. Disobeying God. Later we will talk about how sin affects our behavior.
Eve was faced with the decision to keep on listening to the serpent or walk away. She thought about it and decided to take from the tree. She believed his lies and disobeyed God. She was willing to take the chance and see if he was telling the truth. She found out. Eve took of the fruit and gave some to her husband. They disobeyed God. As soon as they ate the fruit something terrible happened. Do you remember earlier when we mentioned that they were naked and were not ashamed? Something has changed. They began to think about it and became self-conscious. Sin does that to us. It causes us to be selfish.
They were not happy with the way God made them so they began to change it. They gathered some fig leaves and covered themselves. The next thing that they did was try to hide. They knew that they could not hide from God but sin made them think that they could. Sometimes when we are faced with sin and selfishness we try to hide it by making excuses. Sometimes we try to hide our sin by blaming others for it, Neither of them took the blame. Adam blamed his wife and Eve blamed the serpent. No one made them take the fruit. It was their choice to disobey God.
Sin made them afraid, ashamed, guilty, and sad. While they were in Godís presence none of these were true. Before, they were sinless, just like God. Now sin has made them Godless. A great emptiness filled their souls. That is what sin does to us. It causes a separation that needs to be healed.
Our story does not end with this horrible time in history. In our next story we will discover how our Loving God made it all better.
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