Eve, her Fall
A study of the first couple, the progenitors of all men, is a study replete with information. First, the Bible does present an actual couple named Adam and Eve as the head of the human race (I Cor. 15: 45, 47-49). Science has confirmed that all men came from the same original parents. The genetic aspects of a study of Eve are fascinating, but this is not the focus of this examination. In this study, we shall focus on the fall of the first couple. I suggest to you that out of all the millions who have failed to please their Creator and have suffered tremendous consequences, the fall of Eve is the most consequential of all. As a result of Eve's fall, all mankind was affected. I do not mean that Adam and Eve's sin was literally imputed or that some sinful nature that they may have developed was arbitrarily transferred to the human race, but the effects of Eve' sin continue today (Gen. 3: 16-19). Adam's disobedience set the stage and has provided impetus to many to do likewise (Rom. 5: 18, 19). There is also an admitted positive result of Eve's fall, along with the fall and the consequences came the announcement of Jesus and his victory (Gen. 3: 15). Consider the Genesis' account:
"1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Gen. 3).
In order to examine the fall of Eve, we shall attempt to breakdown the fall into steps, six steps to be exact.
Eve Listened. It is evident from the text that Eve listened to what the devil told her. Before there is a fall, there is first attention and listening to the appeal of the devil. Indeed, the devil is "subtil" and persuasive (vs. 1). The devil seeks to persuade by art and fair speech (cp. Prov. 5: 3). False teachers, the devil's servants, resort to "good words and fair speeches" to deceive "the hearts of the simple" (Rom. 16: 18, see verse 17). The devil distorted God's words to Eve and assigned evil motives to God himself (Gen. 3: 4, 5). The way to avoid temptation is to not even listen to the devil. Eve listened and she was led astray (I Tim. 2: 12-15).
Eve looked. We are told, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes " (Gen. 3: 6). The more senses such as the audio and video that we yield to Satan, the greater hold the devil will have on us. Physical adultery is usually preceded by "the look" (Matt. 5: 28). Those who allure us to sin have been known to appeal by saying, "Come on, are you so afraid that you will not even look!" Again, Eve looked and was soon hooked.
Eve desired. Eve's response to the smooth words of the devil was, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise ." (Gen. 3: 6). With aroused desire, the tempter now has her full attention. We are reminded of James' powerful words:
"13: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (Jas. 1).
The bait has been presented and accepted and now the hook is set. Eve was drawn away from God and out of his safety and protection. For sure, sin is tempting (Heb. 11: 25). It will be observed that Adam and Eve were created as free moral agents. God did allow the presence of temptation, but it was up to Eve to resist the temptation. She failed and we today continue to suffer because of her sin. When people are tempted, they usually do not think of the price that they will pay for a moment's pleasure. They certainly do not think of how others often suffer for their sin.
Eve sinned. No greater damning words can be found than, " she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat ." (Gen. 3: 6). In all of God's dealings with man, beginning with Adam and Eve, God has had laws. These laws have been reasonable and for man's own good and happiness. Sin is a failure to keep God's law (I Jn. 3: 4). God had told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2: 17). After the same fashion, when man today goes against God's law and commandments, man sins. Sin separates man and God (Isa. 59: 1, 2). Sin brings about spiritual death and Eve spiritually died " the day that thou eatest thereof " (Gen. 2: 17).
Not only did Eve sin, but she was not content until she had enticed Adam to also sin. We read, " and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Gen. 3: 6). Eve was deceived, but Adam was not. Yet, he too sinned (I Tim. 2: 14). Sin and sinners always want company (I Pet. 4: 4).
Eve hid. Following the flagrant and willful sin of Eve, we read the following:
"8: And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden" (Gen. 3: 8).
Adam and Eve knew that they had violated God's law. Many today also know that they are living outside of God's way. Guilt reaction on the part of sinners today is still very common. Adam and Eve thought that they could hide from God, how foolish. Yet, multitudes today attempt to hide from God. They do this in many ways. Some drown themselves in alcohol, some turn to chemical drugs, and some enter an euphoric state of denial.
Eve blamed. Typical of impenitent sinners, Eve blamed another for her sin. "And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3: 13). Yes, the devil beguiled Eve, but she participated in the matter. The scriptures teach, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (Jas. 4: 7). Eve did not submit to God and she also failed to resist the devil. Yet, she failed to accept the responsibility for her sin.
In the fall of Eve, we see that the devil amassed all his skill as a tempter. He, just as in the case of Jesus' temptation, wanted to succeed, especially in view of all that was at stake. We see the lust of the flesh (she saw it was good for food), the lust of the eyes (pleasant to the eyes) and the vainglory or pride of life (make one wise, Gen. 3: 6). John later wrote:
"15: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (I Jn. 2).
The devil still tempts in precisely the same way or through the same avenues. The price paid by Adam and Eve was not worth it. They were expelled from the paradise that God had created for them and they never again enjoyed the presence of God has they once did (Gen. 3: 24). Besides the immediate spiritual death or separation from God, they ceased having access to the tree of life and they thus later physically died (Gen. 5: 5). While sin does not have the wide ranged effect when you and I sin as it did in the case of Eve, we still pay a terrible price for a few minutes of pleasure. Sin today continues to cause spiritual death (Jas. 1: 15).
In conclusion, we need to learn from a study of the fall of Eve so that we can avoid a similar fall. Remember, she listened, looked, desired, sinned, attempted to hide, and blamed another. To the converse, Jesus overcame Satan's temptation (Matt. 4: 1-11). The consequences of Jesus' triumphant victory are greater than the negative impetus of Eve's sin (Rom. 5). By focusing on how Jesus overcame, we can also more successfully resist the devil.