Adam & Eve: A Love Story
By Jim Allen
This is a love story that begins with a question. Why did Adam join Eve in her fall? Surely Adam knew the command, and so did Eve (Genesis 3:2-3). While some believe Adam was alongside Eve when tempted, others argue he was nowhere to be found. Genesis never talks about the ongoing dynamics between Adam and Eve and the Serpent. And, no mention is given as to why the Serpent spoke to Eve first.
Could it be Eve saw the temptation differently than Adam? Did the Serpent see a visible weakness in Eve? Whatever the difference, Eve saw the fruit was good for eating, pleasurable to the eye, and desirable for knowing all things (Genesis 3:6). She inwardly approved of her desire to taste and eat. But why would she think and act without weighing the cost? This is puzzling.
Was Adam standing nearby unaware? Did he witness the temptation and fail to comprehend the inevitable outcome? Did he methodically weigh the pros and cons of disobedience while Eve did the unthinkable? Some argue Eve acted impulsively, choosing unwisely. But men can do the same. Why didn't she ask Adam? Was he next to Eve watching the temptation playout in real time...not saying a word? If he was, how could he have remained silent?
Can any of these questions be answered? Should they be answered? And really, does it matter all that much in the scheme of things?
When Eve turned to Adam and encouraged him to eat he could have answered, "No, I will not do this unholy thing...I will not disobey the Lord my God." Adam, like Eve, had free will. He knew the command and warning. He should have known. He did the unimaginable.
We may never know the thoughts racing through Adam's mind as he witnessed his beloved wife do this unholy deed. She committed spiritual suicide before his eyes. Why did Adam stand by and let it happen? Perhaps he was in caught off guard. But that she then turned to him and he also ate is even more puzzling. Why would Adam follow Eve into her fall? Is there a deeper meaning God wants us to see?
About wrongful desires the Apostle Paul warns, "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction" (1 Timothy 6:9). Eve stepped into a snare and plunged into ruin, taking Adam with her. Was Adam's weakness Eve? Was the relationship between Adam and Eve unbreakable?
In the classic work by John Milton's Paradise Lost, Adam is found speaking to Eve. He tells her she is the fairest of all God's creation, holy, divine and good. Adam continues by asking Eve how she was beguiled. Adam then tells Eve his love for her will not allow him to live without her.
Was this the heart of Adam? Did Milton get it right? Would Adam stand by Eve no matter what she did? It would appear so. Matthew Henry thinks so too and writes about the bond between a man* and woman:
"...the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over her, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved." (Source)I love this. Henry says it perfectly. He is so right. His description about the bond between a man and woman is among the best I've read. His view brings forward another theme in the Genesis story, a theme that runs parallel to the "fall" but clouded by drama. About this other theme Matthew Henry says:
"When the saints act out of character, corrections will be employed to bring them back again. And here is the order of the causes of our salvation, a golden chain, one which cannot be broken." (Source)Henry's view of the love between a man and woman and the golden chain of salvation join to become a wonderful truth. Both are golden threads from the fabric of Genesis woven through time to the New Testament. Is this the other theme in Genesis, Adam's love for Eve? Is Adam's unfailing love for Eve a foreshadowing of Jesus' love for the church?
There seems to be a connection. The Apostle Paul brings forward this love theme by explaining the first Adam became a living being and the second Adam a life giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). Like Adam, Jesus' love for his helpmate is an inseparable bond. Jesus places each believer beneath his arm to be guarded and near his heart to be beloved. What a comforting image this is for every one of us (Romans 8:35-39).
The first Adam did not abandon his lovely bride. Knowingly and willingly he ate the fruit of her folly to be at her side, taking on the consequence of her transgression. He would join her because He loved her. The second Adam was equally devoted, and though he did not eat the fruit of our transgression, he took upon himself the consequence of that transgression to die in our stead (Romans 5:8).
In closing, the Bible is a beautiful love story from beginning to end. Both the love bond and golden chain of salvation merge to become one enduring thread that secures our place next to Him, as Eve was held under Adam's arm next to his heart. I like the image and hope you do too.
*For the politically correct reader, the word "man" in the Bible is wide-ranging; and, within the context of Scripture and this article includes men, women, and children.
Note: Those who avail themselves of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross will see the tree of life again, for it stands in the middle of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2, 22:1-2). Its water is the constant flow of everlasting life from God's throne to God's people. (Source)
Image Credit: Unsplash; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation Biblical-Truth Jesus-Christ
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