The story of Adam and Eve is one of beginnings, representing the story of all humanity.
It is found at the very beginning of the very first book in the Bible, called Genesis. I see parts of this story re-played every day in the lives of everyone who I know. Understanding this story has helped me understand so much about myself and others.
This story is one of my favourites because it has some good stuff in it: gore, romance (a bit risqué), paradise, stupidity, deception, a great plot and some lessons to learn from.
I will tell the story to you.
Once upon a time, God, who is pretty creative, decided to make humans in his image, male and female. He “formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” So, basically, the story is saying the only difference between men and dirt is the breath of God. I can agree with that! I desire that life-giving breath too.
This is where I think the story gets good!(: God then said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” That sounds nice. However, it turns into the first blood-and-guts scene of the Bible. God performed the first surgery, removed a rib from Adam (he was put asleep first), and used it to create the woman, who was called Eve. I think that this justifiably means that women are, in fact, God’s gift to men!
This story then takes on a genre I am a fan of: Romance! When the man awoke, he liked the woman so much that he broke out some poetry.
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”i
So the woman was literally a part of Adam, and Adam held fast to his wife so that they were one. *Sigh*
“And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Enough said.
Adam and Eve had it all. They did not have to worry about what they would eat, because God planted them a garden. And, when I say garden, I mean GARDEN. Picture this: “the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” It also had a river flowing through it. Talk about beautiful. They had pets galore because God entrusted all of creation, the entire earth and animals and plants living on it, to the care of the humans. So they basically lived in paradise, and had no crowds or crime to worry about. Even God was impressed by everything, saying it was very good.
The best part is that they had full access to God. They could ask him questions. Sort of like the internet, except with a whole lot less lies. And God also loved Adam and Eve. He created them. He spent time with them. He talked with them, and God always spoke the truth to them.
So God told Adam and Eve that there were a couple of special trees in the middle of the garden: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told them that they had full access to eat fruit from every tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because eating from that tree would cause death.
This is the point of the story where human stupidity makes its entrance. God, who knows everything, who provided Adam and Eve with everything that they needed, and who showed nothing but love towards them, let Adam and Eve do whatever they want, except this one thing. He asked them not to eat from one tree in the entire garden. And yet, what do you think they did?
To be fair, they had a bit of help making the stupid decision. Enter, the snake.
The snake represents Satan, or the devil, a former angel who decided that he wanted to have a power struggle with God. Instead of letting God be God, Satan wanted to be treated like god instead. So he spends his time convincing humans to believe in him instead of The Original God. God is good. Satan gets people to follow him by convincing them to choose what is not good.
Satan (disguised as the snake) said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” This is the first lie that Satan tried to confuse Eve with. The lie that God will not provide, that He is withholding good from the human.
But the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This is the second lie that Satan spoke. The lie that God is not trustworthy. The lie that God would withhold what is best from Adam and Eve. The lie of pride that man and woman should be like God. Satan was teaching what he selfishly believed.
Now, this is the point when I wish that Eve would have taken a step back and had a good look at the situation. Had she contemplated whether what Satan was saying about God made sense with what she had already experienced with the God that she knew, perhaps she would not have been so stupid. Had she asked God about what Satan said before she made an impulsive decision, then maybe things could have been different. But she did not. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate”. Eve only looked at her physical circumstances, and chose to place her trust in a snake instead of the God she knew.
Eve was tempted to act like God. Instead of choosing to let God make the decisions, she and Adam disregarded what God said. Choosing to do what God told them not to do changed Adam and Eve. They became ashamed of their nakedness, so they found leaves to sew together. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[c] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Their choice to disobey resulted in separating themselves from God.
The Bigger “Man”
‘But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
Let us remember that God knows everything. He knew where they were. He knew what they had done. But He chose to call out to them who were hiding.
True Confessions… and then shifting blame…
“And Adam said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Nothing like owning up, guys.
Actions have Consequences
And beliefs lead to actions. Eve believed that God did not know what was best for her, so she chose to separate herself from Him. And like usual, God was the one who fixed the human’s problem.
God condemned the serpant first. He told the woman that she would have pain when she birthed babies and would desire a husband who would rule over her. He removed them from the garden and told Adam that he would have to work for his food, and that he would return to dust (aka die).
And then God did something which I think shows His love. He accepted the reality that Adam and Eve chose, and provided for them then too. “The Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” It was not God’s idea for humans to have to wear clothes. But he took their choices, and still provided for them.
Adam and Eve went on with their lives. Genesis says that Adam knew Eve. This is one of the Bible’s ways of saying that they had sex. I am pretty sure that it was during the births of Cain, Abel, and Seth, their three sons, that Eve really regretted choosing to make her own way instead of taking God’s way. Nevertheless, those sons all have stories of their own which can be explored at a later date.
If you want to read the whole story for yourself, visit biblegateway.com.
This post is in response to a question submitted by Brandi! “So who the heck are Adam and Eve? All I know is that the story includes an apple and snake. Besides that, I am CLUELESS.” I want to thank Brandi for being so honest and candid! To see more questions which we will explore, click here. To add a question yourself, just comment on any post.