Talk about the perfect job. Adam had it made in the shade. His job, so to speak, was to discover all that God had created in the Garden of Eden.
Scripture says that Adam was there to tend it, but this doesn’t mean Adam was a gardener, per se. It simply means he was there to take in what God had made, to enjoy it, and to discover it.
Only one real restriction had been placed on Adam and Eve, and that was to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
So when we come to the third chapter of Genesis, where do we find Adam and Eve? We find them standing at the one tree God told them to stay away from.
What is it about human nature? When you say to a child, “Whatever you do, don’t go into that room,” you know it is only a matter of time until the child is in that room.
We are attracted to and drawn toward the forbidden. It is human nature. In our warped minds, we may even believe that God is somehow keeping us from something that is good and desirable.
But the reason the Lord told Adam and Eve to stay away from this tree was because of the damage it would inflict on them and, as a result, on all humanity.
God gave them a warning. And when God gives us a warning, it is for our own good. But Adam and Eve did not heed that warning. They played into what Satan offered.
The devil is a master at making evil look good and good look bad. Just turn on the television and you’ll see what I mean. It is the way of the enemy.
And in the Garden, he took that which was poisonous and wicked and vile and actually made it look attractive. So let’s note the tactics he used, because he is still using them today — three in particular.
First, He questioned God’s Word. Notice that he did not deny that God had spoken. He simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought He had said: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 nkjv)
He wanted her to think she had somehow misunderstood God’s command. And in the same way today, the devil twists the truth to try to alienate people from God.
Second, he questioned God’s love. He wanted Eve to think that God was holding something back: “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5 nkjv).
In reality, God had placed those restrictions in Adam and Eve’s lives to keep them from sinning. And the barriers God places in our lives are there because He loves us.
Third, he substituted his own lie. He lead Eve to believe that if she ate from the tree, she would become a goddess: “You will not surely die.... You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (verses 4–5 nkjv). So she gave into it.
The Bible clearly says that Eve was deceived, but Adam disobeyed. In fact, he was there with her at the tree: “She took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husbandwith her, and he ate” (verse 6 nkjv, emphasis mine). Eve was listening to that voice, and Adam was with her.
If he had been the spiritual leader he should have been, then he would have not let her be there in the first place. And certainly he would have taken her away. But Adam was as fascinated as Eve was. They checked it out. And they listened.
Then, when confronted with his sin, Adam not only blamed Eve, but he also blamed God: “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (verse 12 nkjv). In other words, “It is the woman You gave me. This was Your idea.”
God had put him in paradise with every possible comfort, surrounded by breathtaking beauty such as there has never been since. Yet Adam lashed out at the very God who gave all this to him.You see, that is what sin does to us. It blinds us. And that is why we need God’s provision for our forgiveness, so we can be restored into fellowship with Him.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!