The Command

God, the Creator, took Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. He gave clear instructions to Adam concerning all the trees of the Garden of Eden. He specifically drew Adam’s attention to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15–17 NKJV

This was not a suggestion, but a command. You could say that this was the first commandment and that no others were needed. Obedience to this command would have kept man in the total safety of God’s protection.

After giving Adam this command, God determined that it was not good for man to be alone and that He would give man a helper comparable to man: woman. First, though, God had Adam name all the animals and birds. Then He created woman from man and gave her to him. The Lord established the future for all mankind when He said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24 NKJV). The following verse says: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25 NKJV). What a beautiful statement. Imagine a world without shame!

The tree is where trouble began for man, but a redemption story of God’s love also begins! Genesis Chapter 3 opens by introducing us to “the serpent” that was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord had made. The cunningness of the serpent speaks of deception. That deception began by approaching the woman and not the man. The man was created first and carried the principal authority for the Garden of Eden: “For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:8–9 NKJV). Paul wrote: Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.” (1 Corinthians 11:11–12 NKJV).

Eve’s proper response should have been for her to go fetch Adam and tell him that the serpent was talking to her and saying things different from what God had told Adam. Adam then should have gone to the serpent, rebuked him, and driven him from the Garden of Eden. Then the story would have been different.