The Set Up

Photo 12127829 / Eve © Bstefanov | Dreamstime.com

“Ahhh!” The fruit hit the ground with a juicy thud as Eve scrambled to cover up. 

Adam stared at her and then at himself. “We’re naked!”

“Hurry! Get the biggest leaves you can find.” Eve huddled behind the nearest myrrh bush as Adam darted through the trees of Eden. She winced as she backed into a sharp thorn. “Ouch!”

The luscious fruit lay on the ground, bruised by the fall from her hand. Its sweet aroma, so appealing before, turned her stomach. She spat the flesh, now bitter, toward the serpent. 

The serpent nudged the fallen fruit toward her. “What’s wrong, Eve? Aren’t you hungry?” He laughed as he slithered around her bare ankles. 

 “You tricked me!” Eve glared at the serpent. 

“Did I? Aren’t you wiser? Don’t you have knowledge you didn’t have before?” His words taunted her. “Aren’t you more like God?” 

God! Oh no! She’d forgotten about Him. Eve shuddered.

“I know about evil all right—and you’re it!” She sank to the ground. Tears soaked the fallen fruit, watering the little myrrh bush, but they didn’t help. The myrrh’s pungent fragrance encircled her. What have I done?

Soon Adam reappeared carrying fig leaves. Eve sighed. Perfect. The big leaves covered them well—until. 

Until they began to burn.

A blood red sunset streaked the sky above the garden. The day’s heat lifted. A cool breeze danced among the trees, swishing through the leafy branches. Adam gave Eve a quick squeeze. He smiled, “It’s going to be okay,” but his head turned abruptly at the sound of footsteps and his expression changed to one of horror.             

“It’s God. Hide!”

Here’s the first part of the biblical passage for the fictionalized story above:

Genesis 3:1-8 (NIV):

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5 (NIV)

The serpent set God up as Someone who withheld. 

Who kept something back. 

Who didn’t give Adam and Eve everything He could. 

But what does the Word say about God?

1 John 3:1a says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 

Lavish doesn’t skimp and it certainly doesn’t withhold. Lavish looks like an banana split with five kinds of ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, strawberries, pineapple, whipped cream, nuts and cherries. 

James 1:16-17 says, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James writes “every.” “Every good and perfect gift” means all of them

The serpent set Eve up as well:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden [emphasis mine].

1 John 2:16-17 says, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever [emphasis mine].”

Do you see the match up between Eve’s temptation and what comes from the world?

Temptations always look good. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be tempted. But truly good things only come from God. The list John gives? It comes from the world and its system. And guess who designed that? The enemy. And the enemy dangled Eve’s choice before her. Who knows how many days he tempted her before she bit?

Eve was forced to choose. And you will too. To believe God or to believe the serpent. To trust God’s word or go with feelings. Eve could have asked Adam for help. She could have asked God. Instead, she trusted her instincts—with terrible consequences that affect us today. 

Will we see the set up the enemy has for us?

Not without God’s help.

We need discernment and a desire to obey, both of which God promises to provide (James 1:5, Philippians 2:12-13). And if we still find ourselves in a trap, God says this, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). 

Watch for the set up.

Activities:

1. God’s goodness surrounded Eve in Eden. How did she miss it and get hung up on the one thing she couldn’t have? Take inventory of God’s goodness that surrounds you. Make a list. What temptation is calling your name? How does it look in light of God’s goodness?

2. When you gift shop for someone special, what do you think about? How do you make your choice? Write down some good and perfect gifts you’ve received from God. What do you think God thought about in choosing a gift for you?

3. How can peer pressure help you in the face of temptation? How can you as a family help each other?

(This post is an excerpt from a girls’ preteen Bible study I’m writing that shows the battles Old Testament women fought. It complements the preteen boys’ study on OT battles.)

P. S. Please check out Everyday Wonder on my social media sites. It has fun info like this: Did you know the leaves and the sap from fig trees cause a terrible rash when in contact with skin and exposed to light?