© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 18 September 2016
1B24. Acute testing situations for Adam and Eve:
God permitted their commitment to Him to be challenged by:-
(a) Adam’s circumstances prior to Eve being created
(b) The influences of Adam and Eve upon each other
(c) The circumstances of Adam and Eve
(d) God’s Enemy
1B24(title) Acute testing situations for Adam and Eve
The vital issue in how things would work out was whether Adam and Eve would continue to obey God’s one requirement. In view of their freedom of choice and despite God’s warning to them, would they absolutely obey Him always? This was soon acutely tested by various situations they faced.
1B24(sub-title) God permitted their commitment to Him to be challenged
All of this testing was permitted by God. Why did God allow it to happen? It implied that God saw how critical was the freedom of choice that He had given to people. He was committed to accomplishing His primary purpose THROUGH them on this voluntary basis! But to achieve this, their commitment to absolutely obeying Him would have to be challenged and proven to be unwavering.
1B24(a) Challenged by Adam’s circumstances prior to Eve being created
Adam had various interactions with God prior to Eve being created. God made him responsible to work and take care of the Garden of Eden Gen 2:15. God also brought all the animals and birds to him to be named Gen 2:19. But amongst them was none suitable to help Adam Gen 2:20b. So all was not ideal Gen 2:18a. That circumstance might well have challenged Adam’s willingness to obey God’s instructions or to co-operate with Him. But he did not disobey God.
1B24(b) Challenged by the influences of Adam and Eve upon each other
God created Eve to overcome Adam’s aloneness and be a suitable helper for him Gen 2:18b,20b,22. They were in a perfect intimate relationship Gen 2:23-24, sharing the enthralling joys of LIFE in pure innocence Gen 2:25. So they would have had very strong influences upon each other.
But they had no knowledge or experience of what evil or death involved. They may not have realised how mortally serious these were, as stated by God Gen 2:17. This may well have weakened their mutual commitment to obeying God’s one requirement.
1B24(c) Challenged by the circumstances of Adam and Eve
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with its forbidden fruit was easily accessible for Adam and Eve. It was in the centre of the Garden of Eden alongside the Tree of Life, surrounded by many other kinds of trees with edible fruit Gen 2:9. Its fruit was seen to be attractive and good to eat! Gen 3:6a. Perhaps it may even have appeared to them as superior to the other trees and their fruit. Its presence and God’s prohibition might have been occupying their thoughts even before God’s Enemy challenged Eve about it.
1B24(d) Challenged by God’s Enemy
God’s Enemy had a single objective. It was to get Adam and Eve to rebel against God. This was the great “FALL” that he sought. He thought that if he could achieve this he would prevent God from accomplishing His primary purpose THROUGH them! These were his aims in his crafty dialogue with Eve. He was challenging her commitment to God and to obeying Him.
It is significant that God had not told Adam and Eve about the existence of His Enemy. Nor did they have any knowledge of evil because access to that information had been forbidden by God Gen 2:17. So their responses could not be based on the defensive motive of discerning and avoiding evil. Instead the only basis could be their total commitment to God, voluntarily choosing to obey His instructions absolutely.
If they obeyed God’s one requirement they would continue living LIFE in full innocence and freedom. This obedience was all that God required. Yet it made their continuing enjoyment of LIFE terribly vulnerable. The critical choice was theirs to make!
God’s Enemy was the only other creature that had ever spoken to them. So it is understandable that Eve took his communications seriously and tried to reply to them Gen 3:2-3.
God’s Enemy craftily suggested his “instructions” instead of plainly stating them Gen 3:1. He had evil aims, followed shrewd strategies and used corrupt methods. He intended to attack all the three core aspects of God’s own nature that were being expressed by Adam and Eve – God’s perfection, love and power. His aims were as follows.
1B24(d)(i) To deprive Adam and Eve of God’s perfection
By provoking Adam and Eve to disobey God, God’s Enemy would corrupt their absolute “separation” to God alone, making them imperfect. They would become aware of evil. God’s Enemy actually stated this, although deceptively Gen 3:5b.
Then their motives and thoughts, words and actions would be influenced by their knowledge of evil. So they would no longer be “in the likeness of God”. Instead they would be expressing “the likeness” of God’s Enemy!
1B24(d)(ii) To alienate Adam and Eve from God’s love
1B24(d)(ii.i) By breaking their intimate relationship with God
The vital “lifeline” of Adam and Eve was their intimate relationship with God. This was how God was making Himself known TO them. They were responding by obeying and interacting with Him, enjoying His gift of LIFE. So they were behaving like Him and He was making Himself known THROUGH them.
God’s Enemy aimed to break their relationship with God. By provoking them to disobey God he would cut off the source of their own God-like nature and experience of LIFE.
1B24(d)(ii.ii) By breaking their intimate relationship with each other
1B24(d)(iii) To deprive them of God’s power
1B24(d)(iii.i) By bringing them under the power of God’s Enemy
If God’s Enemy could get Adam and Eve to choose to disobey God’s one requirement he would have them under his power Gen 4:7b. They would lose or impair many of their God-empowered capabilities, so corrupting God’s “image” in them Gen 5:3.
1B24(d)(iii.ii) By making them suffer death (loss of both physical and spiritual life)
Their losses would be nothing less than death! This would involve immediate spiritual death, ending their intimate relationship with God and enjoyment of LIFE Gen 3:7-8,9-10. Ultimately it would also result in their physical death Gen 3:22, 5:5. Nor would they be able to regain these losses Gen 3:23-24. So future generations would also suffer death, both spiritual and physical.
1B24(d)(iv) The horrendous scope of what God’s Enemy was attempting
The aims of God’s Enemy indicated the comprehensive extent of what he was attempting. He intended to destroy God’s “image and likeness” in all people and replace it with his own totally evil “likeness”. This was nothing less than a direct attack on God Himself! [1B22(sub-title)].
1B24(d)(v) God’s Enemy followed shrewd strategies
1B24(d)(v.i) He disguised himself as a serpent
The first strategy followed by God’s Enemy was to appear to Adam and Eve disguised as a serpent Gen 3:1a. This probably made His profoundly evil nature seem no more threatening than any of God’s other creatures. These had all been put under the authority of Adam and Eve Gen 1:26b,28c.
1B24(d)(v.ii) He addressed Eve not Adam
His second strategy was to address Eve and avoid Adam becoming involved in the dialogue Gen 3:1b,4-5. But it was Adam who had been given God’s one requirement by His direct command even before Eve had been created Gen 2:16-17,22. So he alone knew exactly what God had commanded and was primarily responsible for obeying it.
1B24(d)(v.iii) He began with a question
His third strategy was to begin his dialogue with Eve with a question Gen 3:1c. Apparently God’s Enemy aimed to find out how well Eve knew what God had said. He might then be able to provoke her to disobey God if she had any uncertainty.
1B24(d)(vi) God’s Enemy used corrupt methods
In following his evil strategies, God’s Enemy used methods that were devious and corrupt. They were in essence the opposite of God’s methods. The sheer cunning and brazen lies he used certainly indicated that he was very “crafty”, as follows.
1B24(d)(vi.i) Questioning and distortion
God’s Enemy began with a direct question to Eve implying that God may not really have commanded them at all Gen 3:1b. This question also contained a complete distortion of what God had actually said Gen 3:1c. God had in fact given them freedom to eat from any of the trees, except one Gen 2:16,17a.
1B24(d)(vi.ii) Contradicting God’s warning
1B24(d)(vi.iii) Slandering God’s motives and character
He coupled this lie with an implied accusation against God Gen 3:5a. This suggested that God had deliberately witheld benefits from Adam and Eve in giving His command. So God’s Enemy was slandering God’s motives and character.
1B24(d)(vi.iv) Making three sublime, ambiguous, false promises
The final method of God’s Enemy was to make three false promises – more blatant lies! He suggested that what God had forbidden was actually very attractive and beneficial in three ways (eyes opened, be like God! know good and evil) Gen 3:5. So he was saying they should disobey God and get all these!
This was a classic, massive deception! They would only seem to be like God in having such additional but God-forbidden capabilities and knowledge. Actually these increases would not be beneficial and would come at a terrible cost. Adam and Eve would lose LIFE and become like God’s Enemy. And unlike God, they would die!
1B24(d)(vii) How would Adam and Eve respond?
Standing together alongside the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were struggling with their responses to the serpent’s suggestions to disobey God Gen 3:6a.
Arrow 1B21 -> 1B24
This arrow indicates that God had communicated His one requirement and warning directly and specifically to Adam. So they had no excuse for disobeying Him when confronted with acute testing situations and choices.
Arrow 1B23 -> 1B24
This arrow shows that the evil intentions of God’s Enemy led him to attack Adam and Eve ruthlessly. He aimed to provoke them to disobey God. In a direct crafty dialogue with Eve he contradicted God’s instructions and made false promises to them. He was also opportunistic, co-ordinating his attack with other aspects of their circumstances and relationship that were potentially favorable to his intentions. He was targeting their thoughts and self-serving desires.