“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”1
According to the Bible, our current, sinful nature is a direct result of a choice made by the first man and woman. In the beginning, they heard from two competing voices before making their tragic choice. The first voice they heard from was God. When He created Adam, He placed him in the beautiful Garden of Eden and provided everything he could ever want: fruit trees, a river, the privilege of tending the garden, and also a wife. The two of them were given a paradise to enjoy together with only one rule. They could eat from every fruit tree in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The penalty for eating this fruit would be death.2 But with all that God had already provided for them, why would they want to disobey God and face death?
The second voice came from a serpent. As serpents do not normally talk, the voice must have come from the great deceiver Satan. He subtly asked the woman if God had forbidden them from eating any fruit in the garden. She corrected him and said that they were permitted to eat of any fruit except for fruit from one tree. She was convinced that eating that fruit or even touching it would bring about her death. The serpent took advantage of her naivety and told a lie. He claimed that she would not die but that God was withholding something she should desire—the ability to be like God by knowing both good and evil. Despite all the good that God had done for them, Eve chose to believe the serpent’s lie instead of God’s truth. She chose to eat the forbidden fruit and give some to her husband. Sadly, the result was just as God had promised. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all sinned.”3 Two competing voices led to two vastly different results.
1 Gen. 3:2-5 2 Gen. 2:15-17 3 Rom. 5:12 — Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.