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Genesis 3:6-11; 17-19 tells the rest of the story that I want to look at:
“(6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (8) And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord Godamongst the trees of the garden. (9) And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (11) And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? (17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shall eat the herb of the field; (19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.
There are several things that I want to take a look at here. The first thing is that Eve saw the fruit and saw that it looked good to eat. Eve probably took the fruit in her hands and gave it a good looking over. If you’ll remember, Eve told the serpent that they couldn’t eat or touch the fruit of that tree without dying. So, when she didn’t die from touching the fruit, doubt of God’s word probably set in. Eve also fell prey to these three things that can get anyone into trouble: (1) lust of the flesh, (2) the lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. These three things the Bible says are not from God but is of this world (1John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”). First Eve fell prey to the lust of the eyes. She looked at the fruit, and it became desirable to her. She then lusted after it which is the lust of the flesh. In other words…she wanted it; she wanted to be like God. She wanted to have the knowledge that God has, and I think there was probably some jealousy and pride involved here in wanting to be like God; this is the pride of life. So, not only did she eat the forbidden fruit, but she gave it to Adam to eat as well. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. While Psalm 111:10 puts it this way, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments…”. So, this begs the question…where was their fear of the Lord at on that day, in that moment of time, when they ate of the forbidden fruit? I’m not sure I have the answer to that. My best guess would be in that moment of time the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life was greater than their fear of the Lord in that brief moment of time (something that happens to us all when we are blinded by our desires). Which I then believe came crashing down when they realized what they had done.
Here comes the wake-up call that I’m sure they instantly regretted. They suddenly knew what it meant to be naked, and had the full knowledge of what good and evil was. They were afraid because of their disobedience towards God. They tried to cover themselves up, and tried to hide from the presence of God. They didn’t have to tell God what they had done because their actions spoke for themselves, and it was a sign to God of their disobedience. Adam and Eve’s actions spoke to the fact that they disobeyed God’s commandment, and likewise it would have been their actions afterwards that would have spoken of repentance.
Now, after the fall of Adam and Eve the Bible no longer talks about God coming down and walking openly with Adam and Eve. It’s not that God didn’t want to come down and walk with them, but it is that he no longer could because of the sin nature that was now in them. Before their fall they were in a sinless state of being, and because there was no sin in them they could see the face of God and live. Exodus 33:20 says, “And he [God] said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live”. It’s the sin nature that is within us that makes it impossible for us to stand face to face before a Holy God and live. Yet, due to his love, mercy, and grace for them (and us) God withdrew his physical presence from Adam and Eve so that they could re-cultivate their relationship with him. I believe that God may have kept his spiritual presence (his Spirit) with them, but just withdrew his physical presence from them. Romans 5:20 states, “…where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”, and Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life though Jesus Christ our Lord”. This verse in 2 Peter 3:9 drives it home…and it says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. God loves us all and desires to give us all a chance to come to repentance and into a right relationship with him. This is why I believe God withdrew his physical presence from Adam and Eve in the garden.