Is it really so hard to believe Eve fell to the serpents coercion? Just how quickly do we distance ourselves from any attachment to someone like Eve, especially when the rules were laid out so plainly for both her and Adam? Do we have any legitmate ground upon which to judge her?
Sure, it is easy for me to say in all my hubris, on the other side of these words, universes away, that I doubt I would succumb to such temptation. But I do believe that if I took a moment to set aside my superciliousness, step into her bare feet and examine how this very phenomenon manifests in my own life, I need not look too far before finding overwhelming evidence of my own weakness, evidence so irrefutable that it etches me into the story as standing right by her side on that day.
Verse 6 divulges, “when [Eve] saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…” This verse, in my mind, begs the question that she had never actually approached the tree before this event. Whatever the case, imagine her virgin-eyes gazing upon such a tree for the first time. Not only was it good for food, but it was “a delight to the eye” and possessed the mystical power to “make one wise.” What sort of colors, smells and textures could this powerful Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and its fruit possibly be adorned in?
I find myself trying to recall the first time my younger eyes ever fell upon a batch of freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. Now I’m not entirely certain but I believe my mother instructed me as follows: “you shall not eat of the cookies of the jar that is in the midst of the kitchen, neither shall you touch them, lest you be spanked”…something along those lines… At that age, spanking and death exist on the same plain. Yet, these were mere cookies devoid of an augmented wisdom. Maybe the temptation of a forbidden treat doesn’t phase you. Fair enough.
What about anger? It is a fire that easily spreads and can be all too tempting and fulfilling to stoke. Maybe you’ve even been tempted to be angry at Eve for her downfall… What about lust? Oh what a crippling pull. How many times have I neglected to avert my eyes? How many times have I fooled myself; believed the same lie that slithered out from the serpents mouth, “did God actually say?”, or that no one needs to know, or have questioned God’s authority over what is good?
What a fool I would be to say I would not have eaten too.
Oh, Father, how I need your grace. May it never diminish in value in my mind.