Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 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.”
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
3:1 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’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 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.’ ”
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.”
6 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.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
These are revealed truths and we are to take God at His word. But God gave us a mind so we can use our reasoning power that we may expand the truth that we have come to know by way of revelation so as to encourage us to seek further truth surrounding such revealed truths; still for our benefit that our appreciation and hunger for truth might increase.
So, here is my take on Genesis 2:15 – 3:7:
1. God made the Garden of Eden and placed Adam in it to cultivate it and keep it. Cultivation results in growth. Growth means expansion. Keep means maintain what has been grown so as to prevent waste. The task given to Adam was to expand the garden made by God. This is in harmony with the fact that the earth was formless when originally created by God (Genesis 1:2). Expanding the garden will ultimately give form to the formless earth. This is also in harmony with Genesis 3:8 which reveals to us that God took walks in the garden in the cool of the day. We can, therefore, reasonably conclude that expanding the garden will give delight to God because it is in accord to His will and good pleasure.
2. God gave Adam freedom but not unlimited freedom. God preserved his sovereignty over all creation even though He delegated blanket-like authority to Adam. Meaning, God’s control of the universe was never under threat. To try and get out of God’s control is not going to happen. To try and do so bears bad consequences. Adam remained accountable to God for his actions. There was no question in his mind as to what was required of him. We know this by way of Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10 which tells us that when Adam was created he was created in true righteousness, true holiness and true knowledge. We can, therefore, reasonably conclude, that Adam understood the implications of that one command and that God did not have to spell it out for him. He knew God was saying, Trust me, you do not want to experience death.
3. God formed Adam from the ground; God formed Eve from Adam’s rib. Adam came from the ground, Eve came from Adam. Meaning, if Eve gets contaminated, Adam remains unaffected. But if Adam gets contaminated, Eve gets contaminated.
4. God gave the commandment to Adam, Adam passed it on to Eve. That was good, except he made a slight addition to God’s word – do not touch the forbidden fruit. This tells us that not knowing nothing but the truth is a sign of weakness and is dangerous. This is why Peter referred to the woman as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). But take note – – Adam was the reason why Eve became the weaker vessel, and not God. But it worked for Adam; he became head of the family (Ha, ha).
5. Satan, who wanted so much to be like God (Isaiah 14:14) was jealous of Adam because Adam was created in the likeness of God and was given blanket-like authority by God. Adam was indeed a true ruler. The serpent because it was very crafty (cunning and creative) was chosen by Satan to be his vessel (Rev. 20:2). We learn here that just as Job 1:7 reveals, Satan was free to roam the earth until such time as he was chained (Rev.20:1-3). He was in the serpent at the Garden of Eden. He was very much aware of the state of affairs at that time.
6. The serpent tempted Eve, not Adam, why? Because, and we can reasonably conclude, Satan knew that Eve did not get the facts straight. That was her weakness. Not her fault, but there it was. Satan also knew that should Eve eat fruit from the forbidden tree, nothing will happen. Eve will not die until Adam dies though she became a sinner first (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam will remain unaffected by Eve’s sin. And that’s exactly what happened. But the question is, what was going on with Adam?
7. We are told by Scripture that Adam was with Eve at the time of temptation (Genesis 3:6). This means that Adam was standing by while the serpent was carrying on a conversation with his wife but did nothing. Was he curious? Did he desire to know who was telling the truth? Was it God? Or was it the serpent? Adam was playing the waiting game. No doubt he loved his wife but was the prospect of having solid proof or empirical evidence too great to resist? Adam decided not to take action and so he witnessed that nothing indeed happened to Eve though she ate from the forbidden tree.
8. Because of his craftiness, Satan persuaded Adam that God lied to him. And Satan accomplished this without even having to tempt Adam. Satan knew that for mankind to fall, Adam must fall. But a direct assault might not work. What craftiness! This is why Romans 5:12 states that through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men . . . because all came from Adam. Sin did not enter into the world through Eve though she ate first.
9. Here are lessons we may learn from this historic event:
a) Whenever we refuse to believe God, we are calling Him a liar.
b) Every time we choose to believe a lie, we partake a little bit more of Satan’s character.
c) If we lie often enough, we become such expert liars that we eventually believe even our own lies. We may be lying to ourselves and not even suspect it.
10. It was already too late when Adam and Eve came to know that God is truth and the wages of sin is indeed certain death.