What was Eve’s problem?

Eve was easily hoodwinked by the serpent into eating off the wrong tree, but why, when all the serpent’s reasons for eating the fruit were total rubbish? He told her, for instance, that she’d be “like God” if she ate the fruit (Genesis 3:5), but Eve was ALREADY like God, because God said all humans were designed “in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). And when the serpent said she’d know good and evil – a Hebrew way of saying “know everything” – she ALREADY knew everything she needed to know. She knew why God had created humans in his likeness, to rule the earth, and all she had to do was follow his instructions. What more, therefore, did she need to know?

But the serpent made her doubt God, because if everything God made was good (1:31), how could this one tree be bad? And why would God make it good for food and pleasant to the eyes if it killed them? What was the point of such a tree if it wasn’t of some benefit to them?

Well, clearly it did have some benefit or God wouldn’t have created it and made it so appealing. He could have made it ugly and full of maggots so they wouldn’t go near it, but “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.” So that’s why God made the fruit so appealing, because it perfectly illustrated why created beings jump the tracks: Eve saw only what God’s creation could do FOR HER, not what God had created her to do for his creation.

God had created her and her husband to rule over his creation, establishing a little colony of heaven on the earth. They hadn’t got a clue how to do that, of course, so it was essential that they follow his instructions. This was no hit-and-miss experiment where they learnt gradually by experience, or learnt on the job. They had to get it right first time, and the key to that was following God’s revealed instructions exactly, just as Jesus obeyed his Father’s revealed instructions exactly in everything he said and did as a human.

If Eve followed God’s instructions, no matter what clever reasons the serpent gave her for not doing so, she could have eaten off the Tree of Life and lived forever, enabling her to do what God had created her for. But she gave all that up because of what SHE wanted from God’s creation instead. And that was her problem, as it has been for humans ever since.


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