Genesis 2:15-17 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
Many things reveal our sinful nature, but we need to remember our sinful nature was founded in the Garden of Eden and it was the choice, eating what God had told them not to eat, that caused the fall of mankind and brought on our sin nature resulting in our falling short of the glory of God.
God made Adam and Eve with bodies. Our bodies are created with a central nervous system that signals us when our bodies are in need of food. The longer we go without food, the stronger the signal. When we are getting hungry, the craving increases and can become overpowering. We must eat. When we don’t eat, the hunger pains become unbearable. God made us as beings that have to eat to live. It is an absolute necessity. No eating, we die.
Along with the physiological craving for food, God gave us a delight in eating and provided us eyes, nasal passages, and taste buds to evaluate food. Then, God gave us a choice of all the items to eat, items that He had already declared as being good.
The stage was set. A physiological need for food was embodied in humans. The need was accompanied by an innate craving designed to ensure the need is met. The humans were placed by the same Creator that gave them the need for food in a garden filled with a plethora of food. The command of what to eat and not eat was issued.
How interesting that it would be a simple necessary daily act like eating that would begin centuries of sinful behavior. God chose a very basic, necessary elementary task, a task that related to a physical need, a task that fulfills the innate craving called hunger.
God, in His infinite wisdom could have just as easily said, “don’t pick that flower,” “don’t look inside that cave,” “don’t swim in that river,” or something else. Perhaps God didn’t say, “don’t go in that cave” because we can go our entire lives without going in caves. We don’t need to go in caves to live. Going in a cave is not a necessity. In contrast, Adam and Eve have to eat. It is a necessity to live. But, with their eating, they had a choice. Adam and Eve could eat anything else in the garden, freely, except from one tree. It was a necessity that Adam and Eve eat, but not a necessity to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
What does all this have to do with us today? Eve saw that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes. The fruit was enticing and appealed to the senses that God had given her and Adam to enjoy the goodness of what He had made. God meant the senses for good, but we often use them for evil. Every sin has its root in enjoyment. In fact, the Bible recognizes and tells us that sin is pleasurable, but fleeting in duration (Hebrews 11:25). Just as Adam and Eve were tempted to enjoy what looks good and pleasurable, we are tempted to enjoy what appears to be good and pleasurable. God, our Creator that loves us and wants the very best for us, tells us to obey Him and to avoid the enticements of the world that lead us away from Him. He says that we need to trust and obey. He says that He knows best and in the end, at His right hand are pleasures forevermore for those that are willing to obey Him. The question is, do we believe God? Adam and Eve did not believe God. They did not believe that He had their best interest in mind. Instead, they were thinking that God had His own interest in mind and that God was selfishly withholding good from them.
So, ask yourself this question, “Is God telling me what to do because He is thinking of Himself and His interests and because He wants to get His own way?” Or, “Is God telling me what to do because He loves me and has only good for me?”
For our fleeting pleasures of sin, Jesus Christ was willing to be treated as a criminal, flogged, crucified, and endure the wrath of His loving Father. Is sin that pleasurable? Really?
1 John 2:16-17 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”