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Lessons for Life from the Old Testament: Adam and Eve

Updated on July 15, 2020
Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders has a . B.A, B.ED and M.A in Education, Theology and Counselling. Works as an evangelist and counsellor.

Lessons for Today from the Old Testament: Adam and Eve

One of the most amazing accounts of human behaviour is recorded in Genesis Chapters 2, 3. Here is the account of the Garden of Eden which the NKJV subheading calls “Life in God’s Garden”. What it tells us about human behaviour is as topical as today’s news because it is our story. You and I are Adam and Eve and how they behaved is just like we behave. Placed in God’s creation, a beautiful garden, we are faced with both the responsibility of taking care of it and the danger of temptation to sin and so messing it up at many different levels.

Messing up a beautiful world

The disaster of global warming is testimony to mankind’s greed and mismanagement of the natural resources that we have been given. It is claimed that there is enough food in the world to feed its population but because of greed, the “have not’s” starve, and the “haves” live in abundance and luxury, often at a frightening level. In Genesis 2:15, God says “take care of it”. What a great responsibility that places on the shoulders of every human.

The fact of good and evil

In the garden was a tree that was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen.2:17). Once mankind ate from that tree disaster would follow close behind. The Apostle Paul in writing to the church in Rome writes: “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law unto themselves” (Rom.2:14). He continues in verse 15 by stating that the law (of God) “is written on their hearts”. So one of the facts that we can learn from the Garden account is that we all know what is right and what is wrong.

Temptation lies around every corner waiting to pounce.

The temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden changes a place of peace and contentment into a disaster area. Here Satan is introduced into the world and anyone who has seen the depravity of human behaviour taking place must accept the fact that there is a battle taking place between good and evil, and that evil often wins. The book of Revelation dramatically tells the story of this war. It is not something that will take place sometime in the future but is a present reality. When Eve hears the voice of Satan and his lie, she, followed by Adam, makes a decision that takes them out of their paradise existence into today’s world. Sin has reared its ugly head and the result is rejection from their paradise existence and hello to Adam’s world. So we in every age also all hear that voice and fall from grace. Again it is Paul who reminds the Romans that they “are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).

Playing the blame game

One of the interesting events that follow as Adam and Eve hide from God (as many try to do today) and finally are required to face up to their disobedience, is playing the blame game. “She made me do it” says Adam and Eve says “Satan made me do it”. Modern Psychologists call it “Attribution Bias”, basically the human need to blame someone else or some conditions outside their control to be the cause of their personal failure. Political leaders in the world are at present busy playing that game with the problems that the Corona 19 virus is causing in their countries. But on a much lower, but equally fatal level, it is something all living in Adam’s world do regularly. The trouble with this approach is that it then leads to failure of dealing with the reality of the problem.

Every action results in a reaction

The sad picture of Adam and Eve hiding away from God is hilarious if it was not so pitiful. In today’s world many hide in the forest of disbelief and so called “human wisdom”. The fact that a person chooses to not believe in God, in Jesus, in heaven and hell does not mean they no longer exist. Things do not simply go away because they are denied. There is a time of accountability for every action. The saying goes: “your sins/lies will find you out”. We hide from responsibility for our actions in many different places and hope for the best, but eventually they come back to roost. Often with a vengeance! Think before you make that bad choice. It may seem like just a small thing, but the multiplier effect often leads to serious consequences. The rejection of God’s promises, as offered in Jesus Christ, has serious consequences in the present and in the eternal world. Spiritual bankruptcy is a sad place to exist in. When God offers peace and joy it is foolish indeed to say no thank you!

Concluding thoughts:

  1. Sin comes packaged in tempting wrappings and without the warning; “this can be fatal”.
  2. Sometimes Satan comes to a person in the guise of a loved one.
  3. Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44), so be careful what you believe. It may sound right but is it actually the truth? Jesus claimed to be” the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6)
  4. God invites you to live in the city of gold with the river of life producing fruit and leaves” for the healing of the nations”. (Revelation 21:2) Paradise lost and Paradise regained.
  5. You can run and hide from God but actually there is no place to hide except in your own mind.
  6. Every decision you make influences others. No one is an island and there is an effect to what you do, either positive or negative that reaches beyond your little world.

NKJV Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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