We’re continuing our look at the fall of man. How’d it all start? Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17, NASB).
How do we know that God had strictly forbidden this? Look at Genesis 2:15-17: “The Lord God placed the man (Adam) in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden – except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die’” (NLT).
Now here comes an approach you may have never heard, but pun intended, I think it’s some good food for thought. Where was Eve when Adam received God’s warning? God had yet to create her. It isn’t until Genesis 2:22 that we read: “Then the Lord God made a woman… and He brought her to the man.”
So Adam received the warning about steering clear of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” But did he share this information with his wife? I have no doubt whatsoever that he did. Since she was a newcomer to the Garden, I imagine Adam spent time every day introducing Eve to all the wonders the Garden had to offer.
But did God ever speak the warning directly to Eve? The Bible doesn’t tell us. We do know, though, that God Himself came down and walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve – see Genesis 3:8. I’d call that pretty intimate fellowship, wouldn’t you?
Yet Eve “took some of the fruit and ate it” (Genesis 3:6b) after the serpent talked her into it. Why? Had I been Eve, my excuse would have been: secondhand information. “God told Adam, but He didn’t say a word about this to me.” And if I as Eve got hit with, “Yeah, but didn’t Adam tell you?” I’d still be ready with a comeback: “Yes, he told me many times. But still, if it was all that important, wouldn’t God have told me Himself?”
We can all come up with great excuses for doing wrong, which is the sugar-coated way of saying committing sin; and oftentimes the “secondhand info” line is a handy one. I frequently talk to a person about something the Bible says and get the response, “I didn’t know it said that!”
Folks, the Bible isn’t secondhand information – it’s the Living Word speaking directly to those for whom He came and died. Not knowing what the Bible says is inexcusable for most people reading this – we have no idea what it’s like not to have access to the written Word of God.
Is what I’ve written here the truth? Is what your preacher said last Sunday the truth? Is what your Bible study teacher telling you the truth? What about that radio or TV evangelist? Don’t base your beliefs on secondhand information. As Romans 1:20 puts it, every person will one day stand before the Lord God Almighty “without excuse” (ESV). Read and know the Word of God for yourself.