Have you ever tried to imagine what the Garden of Eden must have been like?
Think about the most beautiful, most pristine piece of nature you’ve ever beheld. Maybe it was a trip to the mountains; the freshness of the air, the array colors in the fall, the sound of the birds in the trees and the peacefulness that just seeps into your soul. Or maybe you’re more of a beach person; the tangy salt air, the cries of the gulls, the blue water and the sound of the waves crashing.
So, with that most beautiful image in your mind…realize that all the beauty you perceive is like someone with failing eyesight looking at something without their glasses on. The pure, unadulterated, unspoiled magnificence of what God created in the Garden can’t even be imagined by you or I. Adam and Eve had absolutely everything they could ever even think to ask for. They had perfect bodies that were meant to go on for all time. They had no sickness, no hunger, no unfulfilled needs. There were glorious animals all around them who they could commune with. Imagine, having a tiger or a wolf or bear approach without fear.
Adam was told that he was to have dominion over all things – he was not only allowed to live there, he was in charge! He was like God’s superintendent in this perfect place. His job was to tend the garden. He (and later Eve, too) could do pretty much anything they wanted.
There was one little rule. One. Little. Rule. God pointed out a fruit-bearing tree in the garden and told Adam, “Don’t eat that.”
Seems pretty simple, right? Obey and live. Disobey and die. One. Little. Rule. One piece of fruit out of the abundance of the whole garden, “Don’t eat that.”
Genesis 2: 15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
One rule, two people, chapter three; humanity blows it.
Where was Eve when God told Adam not to eat from that tree? Had she even been created yet? No. She had not been. God gave Adam the rule about eating from the tree. The Bible does not explicitly say whether He repeated the command to Eve, or if Adam filled her in later. She clearly did have knowledge of the rule, though.
So, they’re in this perfect place and Eve finds herself in the part of the garden where that forbidden tree was. Why was she even over there? I’m sure the Garden was pretty big, there were a lot of other places she could have been, but… yeah, there she was by that tree. If we’re honest with ourselves; don’t we do the same thing? Don’t we have a curiosity about things we’ve been told to stay away from?
Anyway, there she is by the tree, and this serpent comes along and starts talking to her. The Bible does not tell us that animals used to talk, before the Fall, but I don’t see anything in the scripture to indicate that Eve was surprised that there was a serpent talking to her.
Genesis 3 1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”