STOP! Don’t Bite That Apple!
This morning I was studying an old favorite Bible story. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. If you were raised in church, I’m sure you heard the story in Sunday School. Here’s a quick recap: God tells Adam that Adam rules over everything in the Garden. And the only tree that is off limits is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If he eats from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he will surely die. Not maybe die. But it is guaranteed that he will die. And then a little later, God creates woman (Eve). The serpent tempts her, she eats from the tree. Gives some to Adam, and he eats. Of course, God knows what they did and kicks them out of the Garden. There’s more to the story, but that’s the overview.
One of the hazards of learning a Bible story as a child is that you can tend to think you know the full story and never go back and re-read it with more mature eyes. So this morning, in my Bible study, that’s what I did. And I found five gems that I’d like to share with you. Maybe you already knew them and it’ll be a reminder.
The story takes place in Genesis 2 and 3.
God created Adam BEFORE He created the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 2:7-8, 15): Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east in Eden [delight]; and there He put the man whom he had formed (framed, constituted). And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. The Garden of Eden was created for Adam.
Eden (which means delight) was like a slice of Heaven on earth. We know what’s in Heaven, when we read Rev 21. Gold, jasper, onyx, pearls. Jewels upon jewels. Splendor upon splendor. (Gen. 2:10-14) Now there was a river that went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four [river] heads. The first is named Pishon; it is the one flowing around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is of high quality; bdellium (pearl?) and onyx stone are there. The second river is named Gihon; it is the one flowing around the whole land of Cush The third river is named Hiddekel [the Tigris]; it is the one flowing east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
I’d always thought that the Garden of Eden was just one place. But the Garden is really within Eden. So when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden for being disobedient, they weren’t kicked out of Eden. They now had to work for what God had freely given them. But the blessings were still available. They still lived in Eden. So they still lived in the land of Delight.
Satan mixed in a little truth with his deception. When he tempted Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he said in (Gen. 3:4-5) But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die. For God knows in the day you eat of ityour eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.And then we read in (Gen 3:22) And the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of Us [the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], to know [how to distinguish between] good and evil, blessing and calamity; and now lest he put forth his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever – God confirms that because they ate of the tree of knowledge, they are now like Him in knowing the difference between good and evil. And God didn’t want that for us. He only wanted us to know those things which are good. Clearly there was evil in the world because there was satan. God’s intent was to keep us shielded from evil. To have no knowledge of evil, but to continually live in a blissful state. So satan told the truth when he said that Eve would be like God. But he lied when he said that she wouldn’t die from eating from the tree of knowledge.
And this is how satan does us today. He’ll show us something that looks really good, tell us enough to be intrigued and tempted, get us hooked, and not tell us that by following him, we will be destroyed.
God put them out of the Garden to protect them. It took me a moment to catch this. Gen. 3:24 So [God] drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. At first I thought God was protecting the tree of knowledge, but when I re-read it a few times, I realized that it was the tree of LIFE. And He was protecting Adam and Eve. They had been tricked once to eat from the tree of knowledge. If you re-read the latter half of Gen. 3:22, you’ll see And the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of Us [the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], to know [how to distinguish between] good and evil an blessing and calamity; and now lest he put forth his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever – God is saying that now Adam and Eve are like Him in that they can tell the difference between good and evil. And if they put forth their hands and also eat from the tree of life, they will live forever. They will live forever in their fallen state. So God put them out of the Garden, and blocked the tree of life, so that it would be impossible for them to eat the fruit.
Even though they sinned, God still protected them. For Adam also and for his wife the Lord God made long coats (tunics) of skins and clothed them. They still had to reap what they sowed. There was a consequence to their disobedience. But God still loved them. When they realized they were naked, they made clothes out of leaves. After God told them they would be punished for their actions, He made them tunics to cover themselves.
Even in God’s disappointment with us, He still blesses us. He still watches over us. He still makes sure we have what we need. Tunics are better than leaves. And His blessings are still so much greater than what we can do on our own.
Here are the five gems that I got today from re-reading a Bible story that I learned as a child. And honestly, there were more than this. I encourage you to take a look at some of your old favorites. I’m sure you will see them in a whole new light!
Be Blessed and Have a Fantastic Day!
– I am not a preacher, minister, evangelist, etc. I am just a woman who has a heart for God…