There is nothing more egregious to the human spirit than injustice. We can usually tolerate hardships or suffering when we feel that we are not alone; that others are enduring similar experiences in their lives. It may just be the old axiom “misery loves company” at play, but more likely it is the feeling that even if life is difficult, it is at least equally difficult for all. Somehow we derive a bizarre sense of fairness from this.
For example, when we arrive at the Doctor’s office and see that others are also suffering from the flu, we suddenly feel a little better. Subconsciously, we accept that we are not alone, that we have not been singled out by fate. Somehow this makes our situation a little more tolerable.
When it comes to injustices, however, we are presented with a much different situation, a most intolerable challenge. When one is wronged, it is not perceived on a universal level, but rather on a very personal one. In essence, our perception is that we have been wronged to the exclusion of everyone else; that life has somehow placed the fickle finger of fate upon us.
Our self-esteem compels us to fight back against the injustice. Indeed, being treated unfairly and not attempting to right the wrong is almost beyond our ability. Even the seasoned Christian, armed with the direction of our Lord to “turn the other cheek” and be longsuffering in such matters, is tested to their limit when it comes to unfairness.
To a lesser degree, when an injustice is perpetrated on another, especially when that person cannot defend themselves, some of us feel as passionate about fixing that wrong as we do when we ourselves are the victim.
Through recorded time, Eve, the Biblical matriarch of the human race, has repeatedly been assigned the blame for causing the fall of mankind and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Even though this injustice was imposed upon her posthumously and, in all honesty, she probably is not even aware of her infamous legacy the record still needs to be corrected.
Let us consider the things we know from scripture. To begin, we know that God did not expel Eve from the garden after she sinned. He could have, but he did not. It was not until Adam sinned that this judgment was imposed and both man and wife were ushered out.
Couple this fact with what we are told in Romans 5:12 (kjv), and we see that the blame for disobeying God is not laid on Eve, but rather on Adam. By God’s own hand we are told
“Wherefore as by one man, sin entered into the world ”
The latter part of this verse goes on to explain that because of Adam’s sin, death has passed upon all. This is commonly referred to as “the curse”. Simply stated, all who are born into this life are cursed to die both a physical and a spiritual death.
God lays the blame for the curse and fall upon Adam and not Eve. I may be labeled a heretic for saying this, but one cannot ignore the facts. It appears that Eve’s sin was almost inconsequential. I am not trying to lessen the sinfulness of her act, for scripture tells us that “the woman being deceived was in the transgression”.
No doubt about it; she sinned. I am not trying to give her a free pass. Rather, I am attempting to show that because her sin was the result of being beguiled or tricked, the consequence of it was primarily confined to Eve herself and it was not the catalyst for expulsion from Eden.
God did not condemn Adam or declare the curse to be in effect because of Eve’s sin. He did not immediately expel Eve. It was only after Adam sinned that this penalty was imposed. It was only then that the ramifications of sin began to take its toll on this world.
Why was this so? Why was Adam’s sin more consequential and grave than Eve’s? We might assume it was because God held Adam responsible as the head of his family; and we would be correct in that assumption. However, this is too simplistic an explanation.
Of more weight than Adam committing sin was the fact that Adam sinned on purpose. Eve did not. She was deceived. Certainly the lust of the flesh and pride of life were contributing factors to her decision-making process, but the fact remains, she was deceived. Adam was not.
The next fact is found in I Timothy 2:14 (kjv), where we are told:
“And Adam was not deceived ”
Adam consciously and purposely chose to sin. He was fully aware of God’s expressed taboo. He knew what ramifications would follow his act of disobedience. Yet, after lengthy consideration, he purposely and willfully sinned.
Why would he do this? Why would he choose to separate himself from God and the good life he had in the garden? Whyt would he subject himself to physical suffering and death? What would compel a man to give up perfection for decay, peace for turmoil, and leisure for hard work and toil?
The answer is actually quite simple and rather obvious. He did it for Eve. Adam knew that Eve had violated God’s command and that there was no reversing her sin. He knew that what God had said would come to pass. Eve was going to perish.
Try to imagine Adam’s situation. The Garden of Eden was his home. It was a place of beauty and tranquility. The land and environment were perfect. The animals were tame. Each day was perfect in every way.
There was no illness or death. There was no aging. Locks and alarms did not exist. There was no need for concern in any matter. God provided for everything.
Adam had been a content and happy man. There was nothing threatening or negative in Adam’s world. There had been only a brief period of time when Adam felt lonely, and God took care of that problem quickly by creating Eve.
Adam briefly recalled when God had introduced him to Eve after he had awakened. She was the most exquisite creature he had ever seen. She looked like him, and yet she was not like him. There was something different about her, something very special.
She not only complimented his life, she completed it. She met his needs emotionally and physically and almost immediately he loved her. They were a perfect match in a perfect place and joy filled every corner of their world.
With Eve’s arrival, Adam experienced what was perhaps the first epiphany. Suddenly he was aware of the beauty of Eden. He hadn’t noticed it before, at least not to this degree. The birds’ songs seemed sweeter, the flowers more fragrant, the garden more alive. Now, with Eve, there was purpose to living.
With that in mind, try to put yourself in Adam’s place. All of a sudden, without warning everything had changed. His perfect world was shattered. He sensed the change and for the first time he feared.
Adam did not have to ask Eve what she had done. He could see it. Not only had the garden started to change, but Eve too was different. Her countenance had gone from one of innocence to one of sensuality. Her face reflected concern and despair. She seemed unhappy and frightened. Her flesh was already showing signs of aging.
Adam knew that she had disobeyed God. He knew immediately that the consequences of God’s warning were starting to take effect. His Eve was going to die. Already she was changing. Already she was moving away from him in shame. He was losing her. Unhappiness flooded into his heart.
Adam knew that he had a choice to make. Was he to be faithful to God and give up the love of his life and perhaps his very reason for living? Was he to watch helplessly as Eve wasted away? Or would he too disobey God to remain with his wife.
The choice may have been painful, but it was not a hard one for Adam to make. He did not want to disobey God. He did not want to be away from God. But he loved Eve more than he loved God and he really had no choice. He chose to sin and die with her rather than to live forever without her.
Adam was not deceived. Adam was not tricked. He purposely sinned in order to be with the woman God had given to him.
Eve has taken the brunt of blame for the fall throughout history. We can suppose that Adam would not have sinned if Eve hadn’t, but we cannot know that for sure. All we can know for sure is that Adam sinned and that God held him responsible for the fall, not Eve.
The truth is, Eve did what most of us probably would have done under the circumstances. Today we are armed with the knowledge of human history and the written Word of God. Eve had neither to rely on for wisdom. She was not “street smart” if you will. Consequently, she was an easy mark for that old serpent.
Again, Eve does not deserve a free pass for being the first sinner, but neither does she deserve the burden for the fall of mankind. It is time to set the record straight.