And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (Genesis 3:11-14)
When Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately feared God, seeking to hide from Him who they once fellowshipped with. Their fear of God was not the wholesome fear of the Lord, which tends to life, rather it was the craven fear of the guilty which drove them into darkness.
Thus began the long flight from God which has been the experience of the vast majority of the sons and daughters of Adam to this day. “There is none that understands, there is none that seeketh after God...” laments the Psalmist, whom Paul quoted in Romans 3.
Men don’t seek after God, they run from Him, as Adam did. The various false religions have not come about because man was seeking God with all of his heart , but was sadly misguided.The Sons of Adam are not misguided, but rebellious. They hate God, and seek to manufacture their own substitute gods in his place. False religion is a monument to the refusal of man to turn to the “only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent”.
Paul tells us that men are under Divine wrath, not because of their ignorance of truth, but rather their evasion of it. Men stubbornly refuse to acknowledge, or to give due worship to the Creator.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.(Romans 1:18-19)
God asked Adam two direct questions. Who told you you were naked? and Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?
The first question was designed to get Adam to look beyond the consequences of the sin (nakedness), and to admit the sin itself. Sinners readily bemoan the consequences of their sins, but are loathe to consider how they came to be.
The second question is more direct, note the way it is worded, the tree that I commanded you not to eat? In other words, “Admit it Adam, did you disobey me? Yes or No?”
Fellowship which is broken is impossible to restore without a confession. If there is to be any repair of the breach, the offender must admit in as frank a way as possible his transgression.
King David shows us the way, when after months of hypocrisy, depression, and soul sickness caused by the refusal to confess his sin, he was brought to the point where he poured out of an anguished heart,
“Against you only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight…”
But sin had made Adam devious, complicated and cowardly. He couldn’t just admit his sin, even when God gave him a straightforward opportunity to know by experience,”Whosoever confesses and forsakes his sins shall find mercy…“.
Adam had to preface his answer to God’s question, with a self-serving excuse. He first blamed Eve and God, “The woman You gave me…she gave me of the tree“, then admitted “I did eat” of the tree.
Since Adam wouldn’t simply admit his sin, there wasn’t at that point much more to say to him, so God turned to Eve, his helpmeet.
What is it that you have done? A very simple question, which is also a call for humble and forthright confession. But like her husband, Eve also hid from God’s searching light, blaming in this case the serpent. “The serpent beguiled me and I did eat”.
It is true that Eve was indeed deceived by the serpent, not Adam. Paul refers to this fact when he makes the case that leadership and teaching in the church of God should be primarily male, based upon the vulnerability of women to spiritual seduction.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.(I Timothy 2:12-14)
In no way is this a condemnation of Eve over Adam, in fact this shows that Adam’s sin was far worse than Eve’s. She could truly say that she was deceived, Adam was a blatant transgressor, a rebel against God.
The LORD now turns to the serpent but note that the tone is entirely different here. There is no gentle urging to confess, no call for introspection, for there is no Divine intention to save the intelligent moral, being who spoke through the serpent.
All of the animal Kingdom would come under a curse because of Adam’s sin. But the serpent would bear a particularly humiliating curse, for he allowed himself to be used by the evil one. Therefore he would have to crawl on the dust and feed on uncleanness, as a sign of the ultimate judgment coming upon the one who the serpent yielded to.
We will have to arrive at the last book of the Divine revelation to hear the real identity of the being whom God was truly addressing in the garden that day, alongside of Adam and Eve. In that vision of Revelation 12, the serpent has become a dragon, and the woman is with child with the promised deliverer, and there is a wonderful clarity as to his true identity and end,
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.(Revelation 12:9-10)