The Blame Game
Whose fault was it that Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden? Eve ate the fruit, right?
The blame game. The biblical account seems to have an emphasis on Eve, but both Adam and Eve are at fault. Let’s look at the scriptures:
“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 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.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." (Genesis 3:2-6, NKJV.)
We see that Satan struck up a conversation with the woman, Eve. But we also observe, near the end of that passage, that Adam was standing right beside her during the Devil’s sales-pitch. Though Adam was acknowledged by God as the leader of the relationship, he did nothing to stop Eve from taking the bait. This directs us to the first of our conclusions about that moment: silence is compliance. When we watch our brother or sister enter into sin and say nothing, we become equally as guilty. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27, NASB.)
We must always try to help or protect...to love our neighbor...if it is in our power to do so.
Then, in verse seventeen, God illustrates another important point: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’, cursed is the ground because of you...because from it you were taken; for you are dust and to dust you shall return.” God makes it clear in this statement that Adam’s sin rests on the fact that he did not listen to the command of the Lord, but instead listened to his wife as she offered a bite of forbidden fruit. How often are we guilty of putting emphasis on the actions or opinions of others? While we love our friends and family (and God often uses them to counsel us), we must consistently return to the Lord for our true instruction. Adam disobeyed God’s command and stood idly by while the whole earth fell. Why didn’t he stop her? Where was his voice in that fatal conversation? Adam shoulders equal responsibility and equal guilt because he ignored his God-given role to protect their sacred trust regarding the illegal tree and its fruit.
You may be taking issue with the idea that Adam was in charge of the relationship. Indeed this fact has been debated for centuries, especially since feminism has entered into our culture. “Eve was made from Adam’s rib,” you say “and that means they are equal in power.” In the natural realm, you are correct. Yet in the spiritual realm the Bible reveals a different truth. Have you noticed in these passages that after Adam and Eve sinned and they hid themselves, God came to find them...but when the Lord approached them in the Garden he called out, “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9.) God did not address the two of them, even though both people were hiding in their naked shame. He addressed the man; thus setting a divine principle for leadership in marriage forever more. When God looks at the partnership between a man and woman, he holds the man as the responsible party. Adam is accountable for the state of things at home.
We’re all sinners and it was no different for them. Adam and Eve were partners in crime. Now, through Jesus, let’s do better. And let us love one another.
Adrienne Greene pastors two Christian churches in southeastern Indiana. Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Please send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030.