The Question of God’s Sovereignty and the Temptation of the Devil (Genesis 3:1–6)
Genesis chapter 2 informs us that God created man and put him in a “garden” called Eden of several thousand hectares, if not more. Adam was in ideal conditions. In this paradise setting, he enjoyed great freedom (John 8:32). However, God set a limit on this immense freedom: a tree: “Jehovah God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eʹden to cultivate it and to take care of it. Jehovah God also gave this command to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:15–17). “The tree of knowledge of good and bad” was simply the concrete representation of the abstract concept of good and bad. Henceforth this real tree, represented for Adam, the concrete limit, a “(concrete) knowledge of the good and the bad”, fixed by God, between the “good”, to keep obeying Him and not to eat of it and the “bad”, the disobedience.
It is clearly evident that this commandment of God was not “burdensome” (compare with Matthew 11:28–30 “For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light” and 1 John 5:3 “His commandments are not burdensome” (those of God)). By the way, some have said that the “forbidden fruit” stands for carnal relationships: this is wrong, because when God gave this commandment, Eve did not exist. God was not going to forbid something that Adam could not know (Compare the chronology of events Genesis 2:15–17 (the command of God) with 2:18–25 (the creation of Eve)).
“Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” At this the woman said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” Consequently, the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward, she also gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it” (Genesis 3:1–6).
The sovereignty of God has been openly attacked by the devil. Satan implied that God was withholding information for the purpose of harming his creatures: “For God knows” (implying that Adam and Eve did not know and that it was harming them). Nevertheless, God always remained in control of the situation.
Why did Satan speak to Eve rather than Adam? To use the inspired expression of the apostle Paul, to “deceive” her: “Also, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was thoroughly deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Timothy 2:14 ). In what way was Eve deceived? Because of her young age, because she had very few years of experience, while Adam was at least over forty. In fact, Eve was little surprised, at her young age, that a snake spoke to her. She normally continued this unusual conversation. Therefore, Satan took advantage of Eve’s inexperience to cause her to sin. However, Adam knew what he was doing, he made the decision to sin in a deliberate way. This first accusation of the devil was linked to God’s evident right to rule over his creatures, both invisible and visible (Revelation 4:11).
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