I am so glad that the thing I am most known for is not the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Let’s hope it stays that way.
That isn’t what God wants for us or what he wanted for Eve. In fact, she didn’t even have the name Eve when she was first created! We will get to that in the final post of the series though. For now, we dig a little deeper into Eve’s deception and how we can avoid her missteps. If you want to catch up though, take a look at the first post in The Story of Eve series – Eve’s Creation: What’s Great About Being a Woman?
Eve’s Deception: The Serpent Plants a Seed of Doubt
Genesis 2 ends with all of creation now complete and “Adam and his wife were naked and felt no shame” (v. 25). As women, I’m sure we can imagine what it would feel like to step out of the shower and glance at our bodies (worn from birthing and nursing babies) and feel no shame. Sounds glorious!
But then we begin the very next chapter with the serpent, “the most crafty” of all animals God made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1).
It’s important to recognize the timeline of events here. So let’s get back to Genesis 2:15-18.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him.”
Did you catch that?
Eve wasn’t even around when God commanded Adam not to eat from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil!
So the serpent twists God’s words given to Adam (who I’m sure told Eve during their introductory tour of the Garden) and uses them to confuse Eve.
Eve’s Deception: The Serpent Has Inside Information
Back to Genesis 3.
The serpent has already planted a seed of doubt with Eve. He twists God’s command of not eating from a specific tree. Eve tries to set him straight by telling him what they were allowed to eat with one caveat, “God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” (Genesis 3:2)
The serpent responds to Eve, “You will not certainly die…your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4) Do you see how the serpent changed tactics? He acted ignorantly at first (“Did God really say…?”). But when it appears that won’t get him what he wants, he decides to completely flip the script by acting like he knows more than Eve.
And then the train wreck. You see it coming but you can’t do anything to stop it. It’s like a scary movie. There is always that one part you know is coming and you want to shout at the screen, “No! You idiot. Don’t go in the basement!” And then they do. And all you can do is cover your eyes, watch the destruction through the tiny slot you’ve made with your fingers, and just shake your head while saying, “I told you so.”
That’s how I feel when I read Genesis 3:6-7.
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. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.
What the heck, Eve! You fell for the oldest trick in the book (quite literally).
How Can We Avoid Eve’s Missteps?
Her husband was right there with her! Why didn’t she turn to him and ask? Why didn’t he speak up and tell her? Most importantly, why didn’t she ask God? She had a direct connection to Him. He walked with them in the Garden of Eden.
That’s definitely on my list of conversations to have when I get to heaven.
In the meantime, how can we avoid making these same mistakes?
1. Trust (and Pray for) Your Husband.
Eve wasn’t there when God told Adam not to eat from the tree. And it’s not like she wasn’t in the room. She hadn’t even been created yet! When the serpent questions Eve, that seed of doubt is planted because she didn’t hear directly from God but from her husband. Ultimately, Eve doubts God because she doubts her husband.
We need to allow our husbands to be the leaders God created them to be. God didn’t wait until Eve was created to tell both of them not to eat the fruit. He told Adam. As such, God also asked Adam first how they knew they were naked. Not Eve.
If, for whatever reason, you have a hard time doing that, maybe start with this 7-day email prayer challenge (coming soon!).
This leads me to the next thing.
2. Always Work on Your Relationship with God.
Sure, Adam was the one God told about the tree. But Eve also had a direct connection to God. If she didn’t trust her husband’s word, she could have gone to God directly.
Ana, how can you tell me to trust my husband in one breath but in the next breath tell me to make sure I’m working on my relationship with God? You told me that I can’t work on being good enough but now I have to work on my relationship with God.
Sounds like I’m contradicting myself, doesn’t it?
It is like a little girl to her father. She needs his guidance and love every day. She does not gain by working and performing. She gains it by spending time with him and actively listening to him.
Related post: Why It’s Okay to Be ‘Never Good Enough’
Understand that your husband is just a man and struggles with doubts and insecurities just like you do. Remember that God created us as an ezer, a helper (if you need a reminder, go back to How to See Your Greatness Through the Story of Eve’s Creation for a refresher). There may be times where your husband is saying something that may be led by his flesh and not by the Spirit. You can not be led by both at the same time!
By making sure that you are spending time with God, reading his word in the Bible and praying actively for your husband, you allow yourself to be led by the Spirit and become your full potential as your husband’s ezer.
3. Swallow Your Pride.
At the core of the Fall, Eve fell for the serpent’s tricks because she longed to be like God. She wasn’t content to have everything else in the Garden of Eden. To live in Paradise. To live in a world without sin. She wanted to “be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4).
In your time of prayer, ask God that he would make it known to you when you are being prideful. Remember Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
In spending time in prayer – for your husband, for a deeper relationship with God and for a more humble spirit – we can possibly avoid Eve’s missteps. We can enjoy the life that God laid out for us. We will mess up, hopefully not with the consequences received from Eve’s mistake, but we will.
The good news is that our God can and will redeem our mistakes. And that’s coming up in the final post of this series.