All my life I have heard Eve traditionally bashed as the spineless, weak link in humanity having been seduced all alone by the evil one while her husband, Adam, was off somewhere else tending to the garden like a good boy.
Well, as it turns out that scenario is inaccurate.
If we read for ourselves the words in Genesis 3:6, we come to find that Adam was not off tending to anything. He was not away from Eve. When the serpent beguiled her, Adam was right there with her, meaning within physical proximity. (See Genesis 3:6 ASV, below)
Because the verse tells us that he was with her, Adam was privy to the serpent’s words to Eve. He heard her counter argument. He saw his wife delighting in the beauty of the fruit. He witnessed her desiring it to become wise. He watched her reach for the fruit and eat it. Then when she offered it to him, without resistance he took it and ate also.
“Adam did nothing helpful at all? Then just joined in?” you may ask. “What kind of a sick puppy was he?”
Have you ever noticed that this passive behavior of Adam’s occurred b-e-f-o-r-e the fall, before they actually ate of the fruit. We don’t know the details of how he behaved before the serpent appeared, except that his purpose was to tend the garden (Gen. 2:15) and that he named the animals (Gen. 2:19-20). What we do know is that when the serpent appeared Adam was limp.
If Adam was with Eve, why didn’t he say anything about what was going on?
Why didn’t he take action when he saw his wife being deceived?
Why didn’t he stand up to protect his wife?
Why didn’t he attempt to challenge the serpent at least with his words?
And if that didn’t work, why didn’t he initiate a fight to the death to save his wife, himself and their lovely life together?
Was Adam’s passivity in the Garden due solely to the influence of the enemy?
Or was he passive all along?
Was he bored and distracted like David (2 Sam. 11:2)?
Or just clueless?
And if he “wasn’t deceived” (1 Tim. 2:14), then why being there with Eve as the text states, did he share in the deception by eating of the forbidden fruit? If he wasn’t deceived, then he had to have participated knowingly. No wonder he takes the brunt of the blame for the fall by being named by God the first man who failed (1 Cor. 15:47).
We can surmise that the enemy had watched them (1 Peter 5:8) in the Garden and figured he could approach and manipulate Eve successfully with his cunning words since he could see that Adam posed no threat. God had commanded Adam to tend and keep the Garden which we assume he did, and not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Because Eve dutifully recited to the serpent the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge, we assume that Adam must have told her about it.
But if Adam’s character in failing to protect Eve from the serpent is any indication of his previous behavior, then maybe he didn’t tell her about the tree. If not, maybe God told her when he took her from Adam’s rib or maybe she knew it intuitively as his rib wife. At least Eve remembered the command and quickly spoke up to challenge the intruder, which is more than we can say for Adam. So much for traditional teachings.
In the Garden Adam lived with his rib bride. Let’s face it: you can’t get much closer to your wife than that. And he had full provision from God and lovely innocence all around. If he failed to do right before the fall, how in the world do we expect him to do right after the fall?
Adam was the first man who fell –far and hard. And in his failure he was held responsible by God (1 Cor 15:22). As the first man, Adam is flesh, fashioned from the clay of the Earth. And flesh is death, completely void of the Spirit of God. As a picture of carnality and independence, Adam failed to love and protect his wife, failed to assume a courageous spirit in facing the enemy and failed to remember or obey God’s words to them. He failed in these areas because he lacked the Spirit of God, the only force that defeats the enemy.
The take away is that by choosing to walk in the first man’s steps void of God’s Spirit, we will fall as well. In Adam’s steps we are guaranteed not to pay attention to God’s work, walk in courage or remember God’s word, much less anything else worthwhile. On the contrary, in order to avoid repeating Adam’s stewardship blunder in our own lives, we can choose to take the high road. In the moment by moment decision to surrender and walk instead after the Second Man (1 Cor. 15:45, 7), we will rise up to make courageous life decisions walking in the strength and courage of and obedience to the ultimate warrior, Our Beloved Christ.
Genesis 3:6 ASV
And when the woman 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 the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
1 Corinthians 15:45
Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being (an individual personality); the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life].
1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man [was] from out of earth, made of dust (earthly-minded); the second Man [is] the Lord from out of heaven.