Let’s put it into context:
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-6
This is a well-known passage of scripture. Sin enters the world and we all suffer. I’m sure everyone has wondered, at one time or another, why didn’t Adam stop Eve from eating the fruit.
Let’s review the facts. God tells Adam, “Don’t eat that fruit or you will die!” Eve says, “Have some,” and he takes a bite. What gives?
Some may say Eve tricked Adam. I don’t buy it. Scripture says Adam was with her, and I believe he was there when the serpent was speaking.
Others may say that he was a little dense. Ah, we are getting closer to the mark. I don’t mean to say the Adam was unintelligent, but he lacked experience. God told Adam he would die, but what did that mean to him? He didn’t have any idea what death was. It had never happened before. It reminds me of when I tell people I love gooseberry pie, then they ask, “What’s a gooseberry?” You have to feel for the guy, afterall; he was just born yesterday.
He hadn’t learned accountability either. What happened when God showed up?
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12
Oh, no he didn’t! He blamed God and Eve. Basically, he blamed everyone he knew except himself.
Being a failure as a husband, he didn’t fare much better as a father. What do we know about his parenting skills? Only that his first-born son killed his younger brother.
Perhaps we can cut him a little slack when we realize that, as he was the first man, there was no one to show him the ropes. Nobody was there to give him any pointers on how to handle difficult situations.
Do you know what Adam really needed? He needed a Dad. He needed someone to teach him how to be a man . . . to be a husband . . . to be a father.
This hits home with me because I never met my dad. Sure, I’ve had a few men pop in and out of my life to serve as father figures. But learning to be a man, just like Adam, I was on my own. When you are left alone to figure it out, it becomes trial and error. Mostly error. You can learn from your mistakes, but sometimes lessons learned the hard way are painful and can even leave scars.
Yeah, Adam needed a Dad. But you know what he did have? A Father. His Heavenly Father, his Creator, instructed him. “Don’t do it!” Whether he understood or not, all he needed to do was to simply obey the words of the Father. You see, God tried to warn Adam about death. And what is death? Death is the wages of sin and sin is separation from God. The Father was warning His child of the only way that He could lose him.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation or facing a tough decision, like whether or not you should smack fruit out of your spouse’s hand, take it to your Father. Test it against His word. He wants to guide you. Where? To Himself . . . to Life.
As I’ve learned to tell my kids, “Trust and obey and you’ll be okay.”
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