By Eusebio Tanicala
This series about original sin is related to the forthcoming discussion on “inherited” sin. I would like you to remember the original sin of the Devil that it was done with the free will of Lucifer and also done freely by his followers, that angels that rebelled.
In Series #2 we have discussed the situation of Adam and Eve before the Fall. Endowed with free will, sufficient knowledge about God, our first parents had tasted the fellowship of God in the Garden. Both were free from any sin. In this Series #3, we discuss the original sin of Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Eve committed the first human sin. Did God decree that Eve should commit sin? No, or else God is the author of sin. Did God purpose that Eve should fall so that God could show His benevolence and be glorified for His kindness? No, or else God is the source of evil which He Himself abhors.
To this writer there are four factors that interplay in the fall of Eve. These are: (1) Eve’s possession of Free Will; (2) The presence in the Garden of Eden of this aggressive, clever, crafty, scheming, seducing enemy, the Devil; (3) God’s permission for the Devil to dialogue with Eve and present her with severe temptations; and (4) The seeming need for God to test the undivided loyalty of Eve through a temptation.
Which of these factors dominate, we are not sure. But the fact is there: Eve succumbed to the seduction and through her the first sin entered into the world. Eve reached out and picked the fruit and ate it. She gave a bite to her husband Adam. Adam seems to have readily accepted the fruit offered to him.
What could have been Eve’s emotions, longings, desires and expectations while she had the dialogue with the Devil, the Snake, at the middle of the Garden under the tree that bore the fruit that gives knowledge of good and evil? We could surmise the following: (1) Eve was aware of God’s prohibition; (2) Eve was aware of the penalty of disobedience which is death; (3) She was adventurous, daring, inquisitive and curious because she went near the tree that bore the prohibited fruit; (4) She was a brave woman because she dared to talk to a Snake that could talk which should be an unusual occurrence; (5) Her taste buds salivated when the Devil made the fruit appear very unique and invitingly fresh and luscious; (6) Her trained eyes determined that the fruit was no different from other fruits in the garden and that it was good for food; (7) She hasn’t experienced yet the horror or pain of death; (8) The fruit, as promised by the Snake, would give knowledge and wisdom; (9) She knew and felt she could exercise her Free Will or make her own decision; and (10) Her stomach longingly churned to receive the invitingly fresh and luscious fruit.
All the major longings and desires of humanity were there in Eve: adventure and curiosity, wisdom, tinker with what is beautiful, satisfaction of the appetite, going up to the highest level of knowledge and wisdom because she was assured by the Devil she would be as wise as God, attached to a high level of wisdom is authority and power, was assured that the penalty of death was not forthcoming, and she felt her freedom – she could exercise her own choice.
All these items were sufficient in Eve’s time to make her decide and act. If present today in any situation, an individual would easily succumb to any invitation offered by the Devil. On the other hand if Eve were left alone, she could have reflected on the warnings given by God and debated herself. But there was the mesmerizing, hypnotizing and seductive suggestions pouring out from the mouth of the Devil that drowned any reflections she wanted to make about her relationship with God. She was under the spell of Satan.
What could have been the push, pull or pressure that the Devil exerted on the emotion and mind of Eve? The following are possible: (1) Based on narratives today, when a human comes under the spell of a spirit, the human mind comes into stupor or trance and suggestions are easily accepted – one is hypnotized; (2) Having been an archangel with great knowledge and experience in the art of seduction, the Devil had an undue advantage over an innocent, inexperienced young woman; (3) Brought up in the innocence and purity of the Garden of Eden, Eve tended to believe every new idea she heard; (4) The titillating appearance of a good looking, luscious fruit was hard to resist; (5) She was possibly hungry at the time she went out so there was the intense pleasure evoked by expectation of swallowing the luscious fruit, (6) Being a veteran of the art of seduction, the Devil inveigled the young, innocent woman with empty assurances; (7) the promise of attaining a high level of wisdom which would equal that of God’s was so irresistible; (8) The assurance that death was not coming, and she didn’t know anything about death, Eve became more adventurous; and (9) the intense, immediate pleasure in the flesh evoked by the senses of sight, taste buds, churning stomach overpowered the less intense delight of spiritual joys among the young and inexperienced.
Delights of the flesh are intense, overpowering and are immediately felt. Among the innocent and the inexperienced, fleshly delights could easily drown the distant delights of a heavenly paradise.
It is only when a person reaches old age that she would learn to prefer spiritual joys to the pleasures of the flesh. After many years of struggle a person comes to learn that fleshly delights are only fleeting. Some delightful experiences may even lead to body pains. Eve was young and inexperienced when she was confronted by the Devil. Being young and inexperienced the pleasure of the flesh was stronger than the delights of spiritual things. Sometimes hindsight is better than foresight. #
(Note: Series #4 will discuss the Federal Theory of passing on to the next generation the Sin of Adam. This is called Inherited Sin. Parents from the time of Adam and Eve, according to this Federal Theory, automatically pass on a certain kind of sin to their children. A sin which even the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ could not wash, could not remit, could not blot, could not expiate, could not cover. A sin that God could not forget and forgive until every human being shall have gone to hell or to heaven.)