The Pair Are Tempted into Sin: Part 5 of 6 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
Eve had now fallen into sin. She had followed the three inevitable steps that lead to sin: (1) sight; (2) desire; and (3) gratification. It still would have been a great tragedy if these were the only three steps on the pathway to sin, but there is one more. It was her own act and deed. The devil did not take it, and put it into her mouth; she took it herself. Satan may tempt, but he cannot force; may persuade us to cast ourselves down, but he cannot cast us down—“And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone…Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matt 4:6-7; KJV). Eve’s taking was stealing, because she was taking that to which she had no right. Don’t you think she took it with a trembling hand?
and did eat,
Perhaps she did not intend to take it when she first saw it, or even to eat it when she took it; but this was the result-- She DID EAT. Sin is all downhill; a man cannot stop himself, even when he wants to. The beginning of sin is like a man skiing downhill; it is hard for him to say, “I will go just so far and then I will stop.” Therefore, we would be wise to suppress the first emotions of sin, and to leave it alone, rather than meddle with it.
and gave also unto her husband with her;
After Eve saw the forbidden fruit, desired it, and took it, she GAVE ALSO UNTO HER HUSBAND WITH HER. Unfortunately, the final step on the path to sin is the involvement of others in our sin. There is no such thing as private sin; every sin affects someone else. Eve’s sin affected Adam; and consequently, Adam’s sin affected the entire race. The whole human race sinned in Adam, for the reason that “… death passed unto all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12). Our sin always involves others and as a consequence becomes complex and amplified. Other striking examples of these same steps on the pathway to sin can be found in the lives of Achan (Josh 7:21) and David (II Sam 11:1–5, 15, 24). In order not to fall prey to the path of sin, we must stop ourselves short when we discover any of the steps that Eve took, and ask the Lord to forgive us for our sins, and reverse our pathway.
It is probable that Adam was not with her when she was tempted (surely, if he had been, he would have stepped in to prevent the sin), but came to her after she had eaten, and was persuade by her to eat the fruit that God had forbidden, proving it is easier to learn that which is bad than to teach that which is good. She gave it to him and persuaded him to eat it with the same arguments that the serpent had used with her, but adding to it, that she had eaten it and did not die and that it tasted very good. When she gave it to him, she made it appear like an act of kindness; but it really was the greatest unkindness she could do to him. Or perhaps she gave it to him so that, if it should prove harmful, he would share the misery with her, since misery loves company. This may appear not only unkind, but a strange thing for her to do, unless you take into account that this is the kind of thing that would enter into the heart of a person who had eaten forbidden fruit. Eve did the same thing to Adam that the devil did to her; she was no sooner a sinner than she became a tempter.
and he did eat.
HE DID EAT, after being overcome by his wife’s insistence. "And what great harm did he do?’’ That is the type of question a person with corrupt and carnal reasoning might ask. What harm, indeed! Why, this act involved disbelief of God’s word, together with confidence in the devil’s, discontent with his present state, pride in his own qualities, and desire for honour that does not come from God, envy of God’s perfection, and a craving to satisfy the appetites of the body. By neglecting the tree of life from which he was allowed to eat, and eating of the tree of knowledge which was forbidden, he clearly showed contempt for the favoritism God had showed him, and a preference for doing that
which God forbid him to do. He would have what he wanted and do what he pleased: his sin was, in one word, disobedience—“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners…”Romans 5:19 (KJV). We were all made sinners by Adam’s sin; it was not the sins he committed during his life, but one sin only which was due to disobedience, disobedience to a clear, easy, and express command of God, which he probably knew was a command to test his obedience to the word of God. He sinned against great knowledge, against great mercy, against great light and love, the clearest light and the dearest love that a sinner ever sinned against. He did not have a corrupt nature within him that caused him to disobey his Creator; but he had “freedom of will;” he was not enslaved, had his full strength, was not weakened or injured. He quickly turned aside. Some think he fell the very day on which he was made; but I do not see how that opinion can be reconciled with God declaring all very good at the close of the day. Others suppose he fell on the Sabbath day. However, it is certain he did not keep his integrity intact for very long. But the worse thing about his sin was that he involved all his descendents in sin and ruined them in the process. God told him that his race should replenish the earth; surely he had to know that he represented the entire human race and that his disobedience would be fatal to all his descendents; and, if that is the case, it was certainly the greatest treachery and the greatest cruelty that was ever committed. Since human nature was placed in our first parents by God, and was to be transmitted from them to all future generations it now had an element of guilt, a stain of dishonour, and a hereditary disease of sin and corruption. And can we say, then, that Adam’s sin did little harm?
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
And the eyes of them both were opened,
This statement reveals the half-truth spoken by the serpent. Now Adam and Eve see good and evil from the standpoint of sinners, from the low level of sin. Their eyes were opened to the fact that they were corrupt and infected with the disease of sin. That is the ultimate consequence of of their disobedience. Shame and fear seized the two criminals; these came into the world along with sin, and they still go along with it.
THE EYES OF THEM BOTH WERE OPENED and they came under strong convictions—this refers to their conscience. Before the fall, man did not have a conscience; he was innocent. Innocence is ignorance of evil. Man did not make conscience. It is an accuser that each one of us has living on the inside of us. A leading psychologist in a university in Southern California, who is a Christian, said that the guilt complex is as much a part of man as his right arm is. Man cannot get rid of that guilt complex in a psychological way.
It is not the eyes of the body that was opened; these were open before. Jonathan’s eyes were enlightened by eating forbidden honeycomb—“But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened” (1 Sam 14:27; KJV), that is, he was refreshed and revived by it; but theirs were not. Neither does it mean that they were advanced in true knowledge. Instead, the eyes of their consciences were opened, and their hearts assaulted them for what they had done. Now, when it was too late to do anything about it, they saw the foolishness of eating forbidden fruit. They saw the happiness, contentment, and pleasure they had fallen from, and the misery they had fallen into. They saw a loving God provoked, His grace and approval forfeited, his likeness and image lost, dominion over the creatures gone. They saw their natures corrupted and depraved, and felt turmoil in their own spirits which they had never been conscious of before. They saw a law in their members warring against the law in their minds, and appealing to them both to sin and rage. They saw, as Balaam did when his eyes were opened (Num. 22:31), the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword in his hand; and perhaps they saw the serpent that had abused them insulting them over and over.