Friday, May 16, 2008

The First Sin

When preaching on Genesis 3, I have always heard preachers condemn Eve for "adding" to God's word. God said, "do not eat of the fruit", Eve said, "Do not eat or even touch it".

The problem with that is this: if Eve added to God's word saying something He didn't say, nor intended to mean, then Eve sinned. And if Eve sinned, then that was the first sin, not disobedience in eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The implications of that are huge. That would mean sin was possible before the fall (the fall universally attributed to eating the fruit). If sin in the world before the fall, then Romans 5:12 (mouse over to read) if wrong.

What really happened in that garden that day?

The best solution is simply this. Eve understood the meaning of God's command, and was not a literalist. She understood God didn't mean that they could touch it, play with it, etc. God intended for them to stay away from the tree. Have nothing to do with it! This is not to say that touching the fruit necessarily broke the command. Eve simply employed the principle of "how far from the line can I stand" instead of "how close to the line can I get without crossing over".

Therefore rather than condemning Eve for "adding" to God's command, we should commend her for understanding the force of it, and follow her example to not be literalists saying, "God didn't say I couldn't do this...", but rather take the position of "what can I do (or not do) to please God the most?"