How does a person see that a fruit is desirable “to make one wise” (Genesis 3:6)? Seeing that a fruit is “good for the eyes” (beautiful) and “good for food” (nourishing and nontoxic) is understandable when considered in light of Genesis 2:9 but to “see” that a fruit contains wisdom must require special powers – special powers found on the tip of a serpent’s lying tongue.
The forbidden fruit could not have been ugly or inedible in any way lest Satan claim that God had cheated: “Of course they didn’t disobey, who would eat ugly, poisonous fruit,” he’d have said. Also, a detailed description of Satan’s strategy would have robbed them of independence. If God’s government was built on love, free moral agents would have to choose Him for no other reason than love. Here that test came in the form of a fruit.
Eve found herself assailed by a slight twisting of words – did God forbid every tree? In reply, Eve adds to God’s warning – nowhere in Genesis are we told that God ordered them not to touch the tree or the fruit. In an effort to “defend” God, Eve overreached herself and gave an answer that fixated on the fruit instead of the real issue… allegiance to God.
Satan went for the jugular. He reinforced the fixation on the fruit while slyly undermining Eve’s trust in God. Misrepresenting God’s warning as a threat, Satan turned God from a concerned loving Father to a power hungry tyrant, dangling freedom in front of Adam and Eve while deceptively keeping them away from it with fiendish glee.
Forget the fruit! The battle was lost when Eve’s perception of God changed; when despite God’s warning (and common sense) she “saw” wisdom in a fruit instead of seeing it in God’s love. Eating the fruit simply sealed the deal. A friend of mine often tells me that sin lies in denying one’s limitations. Eve wanted to be more than human (how we all follow in her footsteps).
Adam? He must’ve known that what Eve had done was wrong but he chose to eat anyway. I guess he violated a boundary as well – being one flesh with your spouse doesn’t mean the loss of your individuality; as much as marriage is a complete union, it must have two complete individuals. Today, sin has greatly impeded our ability to unify in marriage – we either shy away from “cleaving” or abdicate our individuality.
So it was that in almost an instant, Satan severed our connection with God and our connection with each other. Oh, how he must have exulted in his victory. He’d shown that fresh free minds would reject God’s government because being free from God’s brainwashing (unlike everyone else), they could see God’s flaws. God had lost!… Or had He?
[End of part 2]
Food for thought:
- Satan’s conversation with Eve was not filled with outright lies. He chose to mix truth and deception and created murky waters. While it safer to avoid murky waters, we often find ourselves in the middle of Satan’s cocktail of half-truths? How do we not get lost?
- Is Revelation 14:9-12 a warning or a threat? How would differentiating between the two impact how you live your life?