by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

If You Obey and If You Disobey (3 of 8)
Series: Spiritual Choices
Tony Nester
Genesis 3

Why did they do it? Ever since the story of Adam and Eve was told people have been asking, ''Why did they disobey God? How come Eve listened to the serpent's crafty words? Why didn't Adam show some leadership instead of capitulating his responsibility?''

After all they were in the Garden of Eden. Paradise! The Garden that God had provided for them was stunningly beautiful. It was also bountiful - trees in abundance for shade; gorgeous fruit everywhere that was good to eat, lovely flowers that were a delight to see and smell.

But there was more to this Paradise than trees, food, and flowers. Adam and Eve were enjoying a perfect marriage. God had made them for each other. Their union was the proverbial ''match made in Heaven.'' Between them was no conflict of aims, no competition for power, no collision of personalities.

And to all of this was added an intimacy with God. They tended the Garden for God. And God came and walked with them in the cool of evening - their spiritual intimacy with God was a daily experience. They might well have sung the hymn we often sing:

''This is our Father's world: he shines in all that's fair; in the rustling grass I hear him pass; he speaks to us everywhere.'' (1).

But then, with one great act of disobedience, the Paradise of Eden became Paradise Lost. Why did they do it?

Well, you might blame the serpent that serves as a disguise for Satan. The serpent was crafty indeed.

He starts by distorting the word of God. ''Did God really say that you can't eat from any of the trees in the garden?'' Of course, God had never said such a thing. God had given Adam and Eve access to all the trees except one. Just one tree was off limits - only one.

But the serpent focuses on this one restriction. The Tempter wants to portray God as excessively harsh: ''My gosh, here you are in this lovely garden where the fruit is so appealing ...

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