Genesis 3 provides a microcosm of the gospel. We see mankind’s choice to defy God’s command (sin), we see the consequences of sin (suffering and death), and we see God’s provision to cover them which required a sacrifice (redemption).
We also get a lesson in spiritual warfare. Our enemy hasn’t changed his tactics much after thousands of years. He begins by questioning the Word of God and casting doubt on God’s loving motives.
“Did God really say?” Today we often hear it put this way, “Does the Bible really say…?”
“He knows you will become like gods…” suggesting that God doesn’t want what is est for His children. Today the refrain is, “If there is a loving God, why did this happen?”
The next lesson is that Satan exploits our weak knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. Notice that when Eve corrects his quote, she does so inaccurately, adding to the Word. God never said they should not touch it, so she is exaggerating the restriction God put on them. When we exaggerate what God has said we must not do, we lose sight of all the things that we may do, and we view God as denying us blessings rather than providing what is in our best interests.
Another important point to note is that verse 6 tells us that her husband was with her during this unusual conversation, yet he offered no leadership, correction, or protection. If we understand chapter two to be chronological, the command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was given to Adam before Eve was created. We could surmise that her misquoting of God’s Word might be due to flawed teaching by Adam at worst and lack of attention at best.
Finally, the pattern of sin is simple:
First we believe something false about God, for example, that He wants to deny us something that is in our best interests.
Second, we see something that sparks our interest. “She saw that it was good for food, delightful to look at, and desirable for obtaining wisdom.”
Third, we reach out and take. This is the moment when we move from temptation to action.
Finally, we consume. We ingest the poison of sin. In that moment, we die spiritually. We no longer are destined to spend eternity with our Creator, strolling through a garden in the cool of the day, but are destined for toil and suffering, for pain and death.
Thankfully, that isn’t how the chapter ends. While the consequences of sin are great, God provides the remedy. He offers the first sacrifice to create a covering for their nakedness, just as He offers the final sacrifice of Himself to cover our spiritual exposure. He establishes a guard to guide the Way to the Tree of Life, not to prohibit us from it, but to guide us to Him.