And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.(Genesis 3:6)
There has long been much confusion about the nature of Adam’s sin. This is partly because it is hard for us to imagine how the simple act of plucking fruit from the forbidden tree could merit such devastating consequences, not only for Adam but for the entire human race.
Therefore people have speculated about what the “forbidden fruit” actually was. Was it the Apple? Or the pomegranate? What fruit was it? What impact did eating it have on the first couple? Why was this simple act of disobedience of such dreadful import?
There are others who have applied figurative significance to the first transgression, saying that the fruit represented something else. Many believe that the forbidden fruit is a metaphor for human sexuality, and that it was in that fashion that Adam and Eve had their “eyes open”.
The Scriptures teach nothing of the sort, in fact they teach the opposite. Adam and Eve were commanded by God from the beginning to “Be fruitful and multiply”. Therefore how could married intimacy be considered the sin that evicted them from the garden?
Satan has always sought to sully human marital intimacy, as being somehow ‘evil’ or less than spiritual. This false teaching reinforces the original lie, that God is keeping something wonderful from us, and implies that liberation comes by transgressing God’s commands.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry…(I Timothy 4:1-2)
Certainly, as we have learned by bitter and painful experience in the so-called “sexual revolution”, Satan is not the “sexual liberator”, rather his teaching leads to vast and intense social and personal destruction, perversion of life and character, and ultimately to hell itself. The sexual revolution has killed love and romance for millions, and degraded and ruined the lives of millions of it’s devotees. There is no love in the world of “Playboy” , only abortion, divorce, disenfranchisement, and misery.
The original transgression wasn’t sexual, it certainly wouldn’t have been wrong for Adam to “know his wife”. The two being “one flesh”as husband and wife, was always part of the original plan and commission.
Neither did it matter which fruit was forbidden the first couple, for the point wasn’t that there is a “special fruit” off-limits to man but reserved for God alone.
Underneath every sinful act is a religious principle that is being called into question. Temptation forces us to choose one side or another, faith or unbelief, submission to God or autonomy, worship, or self-absorption.
The point of setting off one tree out of the thousands, and commanding Adam and Eve not to eat of it, had to do with loving trust, and loyalty to God. By refusing to eat of the tree, Adam and Eve were proclaiming to all of creation that they, the pinnacle of Creation, chose to remain under God the Creator as worshippers.
The tree was a limit set by God, by which Adam and Eve could have daily proclaimed before all and sundry, “Not my will,O God, but thine be done”, or “Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory…”, it represented the sovereignty of God, the Holiness of God, and not touching it demonstrated loving respect and reverence for God.
God would have had them to know good and evil by simple trust in his Word to them, (the One commandment). They could have observed it out of a sense of grateful love. But when Satan challenged them to “know good and evil” for themselves, it was a call to personal experience of evil, and that based upon mistrust and false accusation of God.
Would Adam remain in a position of “exalted submission” under God, as a worshipper of God? Would he trust that God’s way was the best way ? Would Adam and Eve remain in Love with the one who created them and favored them so greatly?
When Adam reached out his hand to eat the fruit for himself, in the process he trampled under his feet love for God, trust, committment, loyalty and worship. He actually sided with the serpent, who also rebelled against God, usurping God’s very throne.
It was the principle of trust and love that was repudiated in the eating of the forbidden fruit. Taking that fruit was an act of rebellion, it was a rejection of God’s rule over the couple, for it was a bid for autonomy. Adam no longer believed that God’s way was the best way, or that he owed gratitude and worship to God. By taking the fruit for himself, he was proclaiming,”Not thy will but mine be done!”.