Adam & Eve: Why Were They Exiled?
Did God punish Adam & Eve because they sinned or because they were getting too smart?
First, the Bible answer: This particular Bible story in Genesis, chapter three, points to the disobedience of Adam and Eve as the reason for their exile from the Garden of Eden. Let us refresh: “Now the snake was the most-clever of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day the snake spoke to the woman. He said, “Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?” The woman answered the snake, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. But God told us, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it, or you will die.’” But the snake said to the woman, “You will not die” (Genesis 3:1-4, ICB.) Eve was deceived by Satan, who had possessed the snake, and he convinced her to eat the fruit. She directly disobeyed what God had said to her…her husband joined in the feast…and they were ousted from paradise by God. Why would God be so mean? Because (thankfully) God never lies. He told them ahead of time what would happen if they disobeyed. Even if it broke his heart to do so, he had to fulfill what he had spoken.
When we reject what God has said, it is considered sin. God has a reason for everything he says and does. He asks us to trust him, obey him and live in the knowledge that he always has our best interests in his heart. God knows lots of things we don’t, so it behooves us to trust him blindly; in full faith that his wisdom is far above ours (Isaiah 55:8.) Yes, Adam and Eve left the Garden because of their sin.
That said; there is more to your interesting question: Were Adam and Eve getting too smart? You allude to a component of this story that we rarely focus on in church circles…the fact that this tree was called “The Knowledge of Good and Evil.” It had something to do with information or intelligence. Let’s continue reading Satan’s sales-pitch to Eve: “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” Satan spoke a partial truth to Eve: they would indeed, like God, know about good and evil if they disobeyed and ate forbidden fruit. (Partial-truth is always a lie, by the way.) The Devil seeded the lie, however, that Adam and Eve would then be in competition with God because of this new knowledge.
God’s response: “Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken’” (Genesis 3:22, 23, NASB95.) God declared that Adam and Eve would know what God knows: the difference between good and evil. Yet God, in his mercy, never intended for them to understand what lives in darkness, only light. He created a paradise for them to dwell in (Genesis 2:8), then placed mankind in that glorious garden where he could protect them, have fellowship with them and watch them grow, multiply and prosper.
When they sinned, they were in danger of eating from the other tree; the Tree of Life that provided immortality. If they did, there could never be a heaven for us. Heaven is the absence of all darkness…not even a thought of evil will exist there. If Adam and Eve had remained in the Garden, their darkness, through sin and the knowledge of it, would have compelled them to that other tree.
No, my friend, God wasn’t threatened by their increased intelligence. He was protecting their ability to one day have eternal peace.
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