Don’t Eat That!

Have you ever tried to imagine what the Garden of Eden must have been like?

Think about the most beautiful, most pristine piece of nature you’ve ever beheld. Maybe it was a trip to the mountains; the freshness of the air, the array colors in the fall, the sound of the birds in the trees and the peacefulness that just seeps into your soul. Or maybe you’re more of a beach person; the tangy salt air, the cries of the gulls, the blue water and the sound of the waves crashing.

So, with that most beautiful image in your mind…realize that all the beauty you perceive is like someone with failing eyesight looking at something without their glasses on. The pure, unadulterated, unspoiled magnificence of what God created in the Garden can’t even be imagined by you or I. Adam and Eve had absolutely everything they could ever even think to ask for. They had perfect bodies that were meant to go on for all time. They had no sickness, no hunger, no unfulfilled needs. There were glorious animals all around them who they could commune with. Imagine, having a tiger or a wolf or bear approach without fear.

Adam was told that he was to have dominion over all things – he was not only allowed to live there, he was in charge! He was like God’s superintendent in this perfect place. His job was to tend the garden. He (and later Eve, too) could do pretty much anything they wanted.

There was one little rule. One. Little. Rule. God pointed out a fruit-bearing tree in the garden and told Adam, “Don’t eat that.”

Seems pretty simple, right? Obey and live. Disobey and die. One. Little. Rule. One piece of fruit out of the abundance of the whole garden, “Don’t eat that.”

Genesis 2: 15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

One rule, two people, chapter three; humanity blows it.

WHY???? 

Where was Eve when God told Adam not to eat from that tree? Had she even been created yet? No. She had not been. God gave Adam the rule about eating from the tree. The Bible does not explicitly say whether He repeated the command to Eve, or if Adam filled her in later. She clearly did have knowledge of the rule, though.

So, they’re in this perfect place and Eve finds herself in the part of the garden where that forbidden tree was. Why was she even over there? I’m sure the Garden was pretty big, there were a lot of other places she could have been, but… yeah, there she was by that tree. If we’re honest with ourselves; don’t we do the same thing? Don’t we have a curiosity about things we’ve been told to stay away from?

Anyway, there she is by the tree, and this serpent comes along and starts talking to her. The Bible does not tell us that animals used to talk, before the Fall, but I don’t see anything in the scripture to indicate that Eve was surprised that there was a serpent talking to her.

Genesis 3 1Now 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’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but 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.’ ”
4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Please note here that Eve adds a little bit to what God told Adam. God told Adam not to eat from the tree. Eve tells the serpent that she’s not even supposed to touch it or she’ll die. Did Adam add that on when he told her about the tree, just to add a little more caution? Or did Eve add that part on? Do people do that today? Do we add a little to the Word of God? Tweak God’s perfect word just a little here and there?
Does the serpent force Eve to eat the fruit? Of course not. Satan couldn’t force her to eat the fruit any more than he can force us to do anything today. The old saying, “The devil made me do it” is completely wrong. It’s a choice. It’s always a choice. Eve made a choice. Satan put a seed of doubt in her mind and she chose.
“Did God really say…?” Isn’t Satan still asking us that same question today? If he can get us to question God’s word, or doubt His word, then Satan wins.
“You will not certainly die,” he said. He still says that to us today. The death that God spoke of wasn’t just physical death; it was spiritual death. It was the death of the soul.
Oh, wait, don’t we have immortal souls???
We do not.
Immortality is a gift from God, and we don’t get that gift until Jesus comes back. 1st Corinthians 15:54 states, “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
And in Ezekiel 18:20 it says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
And in Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
So, God wasn’t just talking about their bodies dying but their souls as well. The wages of sin is death. That’s what God tells us. The devil tells us, “You will not certainly die.” He has a way of whispering in our ears and making it seem like that sin we might be considering isn’t so bad! The consequences won’t be so harsh. It’s okay to have a little sin in your life – it’s okay to steal that money – it’s okay to tell a lie about a neighbor – it’s okay to be jealous over what your friend has – abortion isn’t really murder – it’s not that big a deal with sleep with that neighbor’s spouse – God will understand if I work on the Sabbath – it’s a good thing to pray to that statue of Mary – you will not certainly die…
One more time; the wages of sin is death.
What’s it worth to us to have a bite of that fruit?
Obey and live.
Don’t eat that!

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