Much has been said and written about the temptation of Eve in Genesis chapter three. Through the years, I have preached, taught, and written about the nature of the temptations and the lessons we can learn from this one story.
Recently, I noticed something in the story that was a significant insight to me. Eve did not believe that God punished sin. She had only experienced good things in her life. The garden of Eden was the very height of perfection. It appears that she made this fatal assumption; she did not believe that a good God would ever punish her for being disobedient.
She had no reason to think this way. God’s word had been clear. He had told them not to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden, known as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He had explained to them there would be consequences: “for when you eat from it, you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:17 – NIV 2011)
Despite the instruction and warning, she went ahead and ate. The temptation was great. The serpent twisted God’s word. Eve did not think it would result in punishment. That combination led her down a path away from God that impacts every human today.
My guess for you is this; whatever sin you are about to commit, you are living with the assumption that God will not punish you for it. His threat that “you will die” are idle words not representing an eternal separation from God. We convince ourselves that there are no consequences for our disobedience, and if there are ramifications, they won’t be “that bad.”
Eve was wrong. So are you.