LET US FIRST AGREE THAT THE FRUIT THAT WAS EATEN WAS NOT AN APPLE. WE HAVE heard so many teachings alluding to the woman eating the apple after desiring it and seeing that it was good and giving some to the man, her husband to eat.
The blame game has ensued hereafter regarding who was responsible for the fall of mankind. Some have argued asking where the man was when the serpent came calling? Others have said perhaps the man did not leave behind very good directive or instructions regarding what fruit to eat and what not to eat. Yet again some have argued that the woman should have checked with the man before eating. I have also heard that the man even though the woman had eaten of the fruit, may have saved her from her sin, by not eating of the fruit also. That he may have prayed and interceded for her and pleaded with God to forgive her of her sin when God came down in the cool of the day to commune and have fellowship with him. That the mere fact that he also ate of the fruit, made him as guilty as the woman and so it does not anymore matter who ate it first and who ate it second.
Even the pictures we get, all suggest that the fruit was an apple, but the Bible never mentioned the name of the fruit that the woman ate or gave to the man. How did we come to name-tag this fruit apple? Even the consumer electronic technology giant is suggested to have perhaps gotten their logo from this insinuations? Temptation is often also depicted by the biting of an apple.
If we subject to debate who caused the fall of man, we may have a very big divide and the argument may go forever…
Let us back track a little bit and sheath the blame game sword to get the facts of this, in perspective. Gen. 2: 16 & 17 is worthy of a closer examination thus:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
I submit that at this time, the woman was not yet created or formed out of the man. Man was the only one in the Garden of Eden that God had grown and made suitable for the habitation of man. How do I know this? The very next verse, which is Gen. 2:18 says:
“And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
God created so many other creatures and brought them to the man to give them names. Still man was still lonely and the Bible records that:
“But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him”.
It was at this point that God caused a deep sleep on Adam and God took one of his ribs, closed up the flesh and formed/ made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Adam acknowledged that this point that:
“this is now bone of my bones, and fresh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man”.
It must be perhaps in the excitement of now having the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh and a help meet that the man Adam, may have forgotten to give the Woman all the directives, commandments, injunctions and directives that God gave him.
Isn’t this how we are sometimes? We tend to forget to give very clear instructions or directives, especially when we receive commandments from God. God can speak to us through dreams and vision of direction for our lives and families. We owe a duty to explain and teach and vividly show what pictures and images God had shown us for our family members to be able to run with the vision.
Once, I did not give very good directives, instructions at home but when the wrong thing was done, I was so upset and lashed out, but I quickly remembered that I knew the right thing within me, but I had not taken time to impact this on the people. I assumed that since I knew the right thing and what I wanted, my household also knew the same thing. Someone had supplied me with a defective goods. Despite all effort to correct it, the replacement was still defective. I decided that I did not want the goods anymore and I wanted a refund of my money. The supplier was adamant that I must accept the goods because they had already produced it despite it being defective. I questioned how I was going to be made to accept defective goods when I had indicated that I did not want the goods anymore and that I wanted my money back?
I forgot to instruct the security man and the aide of this development. I was carried away watching the political program on the television, indeed I was even making a lot of business calls in the morning of the following day. All of a sudden my aide walked into the house with the same defective goods I had discussed with the supplier I did not want anymore. I was upset at the aide and the security man for allowing in the defective goods and the dispatch was gone. After a while I was asking why I was angry and mad at the security man and the aide when in fact I had not given them the directive and instructions not to accept the defective goods. It cost me about USD$2.00 to return the goods through my aide, and I took responsibility and the blame for not giving the right directive and instructions on not accepting the defective goods.
This is where we must be very teachable and instructional. So many things are taken for granted and when the wrong thing shows up, we tend to become very judgmental and the blame game commences.
Leadership succeeds or fails on how we lead from the front. Where we fail to give the right directions, instructions and guide, we should be bold enough to take the blame because we did not direct properly. If we give very clear and distinctive instructions, we can be excused, somewhat exonerated if the person instructed still goes and does the wrong thing.
But you might ask how this is discerned. We are not told anywhere in the Bible that Adam directed and instructed the woman on what and what to eat. We are not told that the woman knew very clearly distinctively which of the fruits should be eaten. This is why we need a closer examination of the texts. God gave man a commandment on what trees to eat and what trees not to eat. When the serpent came to tempt the woman, it was also talking about the trees to eat and not to eat. It was from the woman’s response that we find that she was not properly directed or instructed. It was from the woman that we first heard fruit! God directed on trees, the serpent talked about tree, the woman talked about fruit?. Thereafter, we began to see fruit and tree used interchangeably, contrary to the commandment, In Gen. 3: 1-4, thus:
“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 every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 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. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”
If we compare the woman’s response to the inquiry by the serpent, we will observe the difference between this and the commandment God gave. Apart from the tree(s) God commanded about, God didn’t say the tree/ fruit was in the midst of the garden. God was very specific and said of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shall not eat, but the woman was talking of the fruit in the midst of the garden and she also said that God said they should not even tough it.
Since the woman was not created/ formed at the time of the commandment and we do not read anywhere the man gave definite instructions to the woman, are we then surprised at her inconsistency in response?
I took time to examine the use of the word SUBTIL by the Bible in describing the serpent. THE BIBLE SAYS THE SERPENT WAS THE MOST SUBTIL OF ALL THE BEASTS THAT WAS CREATED.
- Thin: not dense or gross; as subtil air; subtil vapor; a subtil medium.
- Nice; fine; delicate. Each subtil line of her immoral face
- Acute; piercing; as subtil pain.
- Sly; artful: cunning, crafty; insinuating; as a subtil person; a subtil adversary.
- planned by art; deceitful; as a subtil scheme.
- Deceitful; treacherous.
- Refined: fine; acute; as a subtil argument.
These are all attributes of the serpent, all unleashed to the defenseless woman who may not have had the benefit of good counsel and instructions. If we examine the response of the serpent, we will observe that in English, when two negatives are used, it becomes positive. Ye shall not surely die, means ye shall surely die if you eat of the fruit or tree.
The Bible records that every soul that sins shall die. So, we might ask what is all this fuss about sin? Why does sin seem so pleasurable and enjoyable yet, it becomes destructive? If sin was hurtful, not pleasurable and painful to commit, perhaps the rate of sinning may have been minimized. But it seems enjoyable because the serpent that is always subtil in persuading and convincing to show the “sweet” part of it, but it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth afterwards.
But it is for a purpose. Often time, we do not realize that the serpent/ devil cannot steal, kill or destroy, if we are not sinful. The access of the devil to carry out its assignment on the earth is to first entice, lure, suggest, convince, persuade, and make the victim see the “sweet” part of the fruit and this is actually the entrance of the devil into our hearts, soul and being. This is actually how access is obtained to strike the blow that is desired to steal our joy, to destroy and to kill.
Notice that the woman in Gen. 2:6:
“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…”
How can the forbidden tree after the encounter with the serpent now become good for food, pleasant to the eyes and desired? This is the entrance gate to all destructive devilish forces. Apart from the sanctions from God to the man, woman and the serpent, the harm, damage had already been done and shortly after, hate, killing came into the world from the killing of Abel by his brother Cain.
Temptation by itself is a test, but it is for a purpose, it is either to make us stronger in the faith when we resist it and overcome, or flee from appearance of evil and don’t even try to engage the most subtil of beasts on the earth, we can say “get they behind me”. Temptation to sin is no respecter of person. In Luke 4: 1-2:
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterwards was hungered”.
We have to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be insulated against falling for temptations. Notice also that Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. The woman may not have been filled with the Holy Spirit and she obviously had not fasted because if she had, she would have said woman shall not live by fruit alone, but from every word of God. But she was not schooled in the word of God by the man. She quoted the word of God the Bible wrongly and it was easy to influence and change her mind to see the fruit as “good and “desired” for food.
The works of darkness is to constantly cause a situation of temptation. Temptation in the heart, temptation to drift into the “pleasures” of sin. But if we constantly remind ourselves that the essence of temptation is to lure us into that position of vulnerabulity to not longer be able to resist the devil, and for the devil to have a free ride in our lives, then we must constantly be filled with the Holy Spirit to be able to resist the devil.
Even though the damage was done in the garden of Eden, Jesus passed the test in the garden of gethsemane, when it seemed too unbearable to go to the cross for sins of the world that He knew not of, Jesus was asking the cup that contained all the sins from the killing of Abel right down to all the fornications and adultery and all and any sins you can name and think of were all in that cup. He still accepted to drink of the cup of all the sins of the world, that we may have a clean cup to start all over again. He accepted the will of the Father to die on the cross for all these sins that we may be saved and free of the weight of sin and death. We must not crucify Him again, by going back to the sins He already drank of the cup and was nailed to the cross for…
I would therefore submit that the First Adam was to blame. The bulk stopped with him. He was head of the woman, whose desire was to him. His responsibility was to her to ensure her safety at all times, knowing that she was not even created when God gave him the commandments. It would be unfair to place the woman in such a precarious position and to answer the serpent with the limited knowledge of the scripture that she had. Adam may not have been too far away while all this was going on. He did not intervene. He did not interject. The woman did not need to look for him or keep the forbidden fruit for him for too long to come back to eat of it. She did not even go through the rounds to convince him to eat of it. She just presented it to him and that was it. In Gen. 2:16:b
“she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”.
So her husband, may have been with her all this while?. This is the crux of the matter. Has this stopped in our homes and in our lives today, or we are still repeating the errors of Adam, the man? Are the men abdicating their roles and positions as head of the homes for the women to grapple with and when the falter, we blame God that it was the woman that God gave us that caused us to sin?
Men owe God a duty not to succumb to “sin” if they failed to direct properly. How does the man compound the problem further by accepting to eat of the fruit? Did he not know which tree the fruit was from? Or was it still in the excitement of being given a help meet that he accepted to eat what fruit she gave him?
Let us not blame either any more. All these have been cured. All these have been dealt with. We no longer have to go back into the garden of Eden to eat the forbidden fruit. Now we know what trees or fruits God has commanded us not to eat of lest we die.
Today’s fruits have been clearly set out for us in Gal. 5:19-23 thus:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
There are no excuses anymore and the woman cannot be blamed anymore. We know the difference now and we have been handed a wild card, second chance. We must not blow it again.