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Adam, did he fall or did he jump?

Updated on July 3, 2015
lawrence01 profile image

Loving God and loving mankind is an important part of who I am, in these hubs we explore what it's like to really follow Jesus.

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The reality of sin

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about the story in Genesis about Adam in the garden and what really happened. How Adam fell from the position that he had with God and ended up in the state that we are in now.

I suppose that the thing that started me really thinking about it recently was a mate of mine who's going to heaven soon saying that sickness is a result of sin and when he gets to heaven he's looking forward to punching Adam on the nose for all the pain he caused by eating that fruit!

You know the sad part of it is that it needn't have happened! What would have happened if Adam had just said "no"?

We'll never know what the outcome would have been, but that doesn't mean we can't learn some things from the whole episode. We can always ask the question "what if?"


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Who disobeyed?

At first reading we often read that both Adam and Eve disobeyed God. But thinking about it recently I'm not 100% sure that's accurate.

You see God told Adam not to eat of the fruit, but it was Adam told Eve what God had said, the problem was partly that Adam didn't actually say what God had said, he exaggerated it and told her that God had said that they weren't to even touch it!

The Serpent (Satan) didn't have to try very hard from that point as Adam had unwittingly set Eve up to fail and fall. God hadn't said that at all, he'd said not to eat the fruit and Satan had every legal right to challenge what Adam had told Eve! As soon as Eve knew that the touching wasn't true how was she to know that the eating also wasn't true?

Genesis chapter three shows a command structure in play in that God has put man (Adam the male) in charge, with Eve having the role of support. It's Adam who gets the command not to eat the fruit, a command that he's to pass on faithfully but fails to do, the consequences are dire.

The first failure wasn't the eating the fruit but the not passing on the information that God had given Adam faithfully, it was that mistake that was to cost them dearly in the end.


Results of what Adam and Eve did

What's so important?

Many people see the story of the fall of Adam and Eve as being allegorical and while it didn't necessarily happen it has some important things to teach us. But in doing so they miss out on some important things.

The Bible isn't a straightforward history book, in fact there are times when it misses out whole periods of history as it has nothing to say to us about that period. The time after Adam and eve were put into the garden up until the time of the meeting with the serpent is one of those times, we literally don't know if it was a day after the creation, or a year or longer. We just don't know and we don't really need to know either, but the meeting with the serpent was and is vital for understanding the rest of the Bible.

We don't even really know what fruit it was the they ate. Our tradition says it was an apple but the pomegranate, the pear and citrus fruits have all at some time been labelled as the fruit, along with a host of others including mushrooms! Jewish tradition has it as being an Orange. The point was that Adam disobeyed God.

A Little lower than the Angels


"What is man that you're mindful of him. You made him a little lower than the Angels" That's what the Bible says about man. The Psalmist is almost astonished that God loves mankind so much that he actually takes care of him.

Adam had been created as God's viceroy on the Earth, the one who was to tend the creation and care for it as if it was his own. He was given the right to use everything on and in the Earth for his benefit (God never intended that Adam misuse and abuse that creation). Adam was given the right to name all the animals and in doing so God gave him authority over all of them, he was to be in charge under God, but that wasn't enough for Adam! He listened to the serpent, the proud and arrogant fallen Angel named Lucifer (Did he know what had happened with Lucifer and how he'd fallen from favor with God?) and actually believed that he could have more than what his creator had given him!

The consequences would be dire, and not just for Adam and Eve but for all of creation

Take a moment to listen

Worst effects

Everyone is affected by the fall, how has it affected you?

See results

But that's not all

Thank God he didn't end things there, but he came up with a plan to bring man back to himself so that one day Men and Women can once again walk with him in Heaven.

God stepped in right after Adam and Eve ate the fruit. He came looking for them in the Garden. They knew they'd done wrong. What told them that? How did they suddenly know that it wasn't right to appear naked before their maker? Was it pride? or arrogance? Did they think that pretending it hadn't happened would be deception? Who knows.

What Adam didn't know (until it was too late) is that by listening to the serpent he had taken the authority that God had given him over all of creation and given that same authority over to the serpent (Satan). That's why the Bible can call Satan 'The god of this world' because Adam had handed over the authority that was meant for Adam to Lucifer who has had only one goal in mind. The Total destruction of all that God has made!

Judaism teaches that at that point God initiated a plan to bring at least part of humanity back to himself, he set out a framework in which in time a 'Messiah' would come and would deal with Adam's rebellion.

Islam teaches that the fall didn't necessarily cause all men to fall but it left Mankind weak and needing a set of Laws (Sharia) to keep in order to help him on the way. The only issue is that with both systems man can't keep the Laws and is still doomed to fail.

Both Judaism and Islam (and all the other religions except one) get round this by saying that it's all on a scale with good deeds and bad deeds and what follows is usually an elaborate system where if you follow them then there just might be a chance you could squeeze into heaven if God (or the Angel on heaven's door that day) feels like it! (I know I'm being a little cheeky but bear with me).

The one faith that doesn't say this (and I'm saying it's a faith and not a religion as in this way you only have to believe and don't actually have to do anything more than pray) is the way that Jesus of Nazareth showed us. Christianity also teaches that just like Judaism says God did initiate a plan that moment the fall took place, it was a plan that began that day with certain things put into place immediately that would see their fulfillment in time when the Messiah came but would be sufficient for all men and women. It would be very Jewish in it's flavor at the beginning but would branch out into all races of men and it would one day destroy the serpent and his insidious plan.

The fulfillment of that work happened in Jerusalem in the year AD 28 with the crucifixion of a Jewish Carpenter cum rabbi named whom we all know as Jesus of Nazareth, but the amazing thing is it didn't end there. Three days later he rose from the grave to show that the price he paid was enough for all of us.

Something to think about

God gave us a wonderful place to live here on Planet Earth. We have everything that we can ever need or want right here. Did you know that if we count all the insects and Birds there are over 800,000 species of animal on the planet (and we haven't found them all yet!) that doesn't include fish (We haven't yet made it to the bottom of the ocean and have no real idea how many undiscovered species of fish there are, not to mention other creatures that share the deep!)

God put man in charge of all these creatures to care for them How are we doing? If we had a report card from God it would almost certainly read "Could do better" and that's how we treat the animals and plants in our care , what about our brothers and sisters "In Adam" who are going through a tough time?

I know I've taken a strictly literal view of the Bible and the Genesis account (it's how I believe it) but one thing Genesis Chapters 1 to 3 teaches us is that we are responsible for life on Earth (all of it) God put us in charge to tend and care for everything in his creation. There are times when we'll blow and cause more problems than we'll solve but he knows that and he's got a plan to help us with it. He's got a plan to help us fix that which we've broken.

No matter what it is, a friendship, a relationship, even messing up his creation , he has a plan to fix it but we have to be willing to ask him for that help. God didn't leave Adam without hope (and the mess you and I make is nothing compared to the mess of things he made) and he won't leave you either. All you have to do is ask for that help

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" All you have to do is ask

What are your thoughts?

Feedback is a good thing. if the hub has spoken to you in any way then leave a comment at the bottom.

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    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Robert

      You've got a good point there. I've touched on it in other hubs (Babel and the languages) but I don't think we could ever exhaust the subject.

      What I was seeking to look at here is personal responsibility, something you don't hear a lot about (even Adam tried.to deny his responsibility!)

      Thanks for the visit and the valuable comment. Glad you liked the hub

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 2 years ago

      You bring up some interesting points. What about aspiring to be on an equal footing to God?

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I try to take a 'different' look at these things. Glad you enjoyed it Mike

    • Mike Welsh profile image

      Mike 2 years ago from Wales, United Kingdom

      Absolutely fascinating take on the story. I am looking forward to reading more of your hubs

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thank you for the comment. It's an interesting idea and I think not too far from the truth

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Years ago someone suggested to me that Adam knew what he was doing when he ate of the forbidden fruit. Eve told him what she had done and Adam was so distraught at the thought of losing her that he ate of the fruit also, so that they would face death together. In this case Adam knowingly disobeyed God, but he did it because he couldn't bear the thought of losing Eve and being left without her.

      God could have replaced them both but chose instead the plan we know that He put in place to save Adam and Eve and all who choose to accept His Gift of eternal life through forgiveness and mercy.

      While Satan is allowed to do his worst, in fact God is in charge of this world and nothing happens that He isn't aware of it and allowing it for His own good reasons. Interesting article.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      Thanks, I look forward to read more of your articles.God bless you

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thanks for the comment and vote. One thing you quickly learn about the Bible is it's a book that can be read at face value but start.to dig and its like the parables with hidden meanings. Glad you enjoyed the hub

    • allpurposeguru profile image

      David Guion 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Actually, we can know more than what Genesis 1-3 tells us. Other parts of the Bible serve as commentary. For example, Mark 4:15 says Satan comes immediately to take the word away. Adam had been in the presence of God when God planted the garden. He watched it grow. He named the animals--all in perfect fellowship with God. Satan had no chance to tempt him directly. So he went after the brand new, inexperienced woman as soon as God rested.

      You are entirely correct to place the blame firmly on the man, but it's a little more complicated than it looks on the surface. When Adam first saw the woman, he went right to work and named her, just as he had previously named the animals. He called her Eve. God did not call her Eve. According to Genesis 5:1, he called the two of them together Adam, which is the generic term for human in Hebrew.

      So whether the Genesis account is a literal description of an actual event or a literary that captures the essence of the origin of sin, it clearly imputes the high treason in the garden to humanity as a whole. It does not blame the woman in particular.

      You are so right that Christians have been led astray by careless or even dishonest teaching, believed legends invented by other humans, and not viewed Scripture as the final authority against which everything else must be tested.

      Christians must study the Bible. Not just read it. Not just hear snippets read in church. It's possible for Christians to study diligently anc come up with different interpretations of the same set of scriptures. So long as they don't descend into battles over which one is right, they're both closer to the truth than the people who don't study at all.

      Voted up.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Celofoe

      I've checked the information and you were right. It's amazing that some things we take for granted have more to do with Dante's Inferno than with what the scriptures actually say.

      I've changed the article to reflect what the scriptures actually say.

      As for getting the info I've never been one to blindly accept what a preacher tells me. I've always checked it out first (but this one I missed) so thank you for the pointer and feel free to drop by any of my hubs.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thanks for the comment about Adam. I agree he was responsible (hence the title) no matter if he was with Eve or not. I don't think it was the 'weaker vessel ' but Adam ess given the command which he failed to pass on correctly. Also even when Eve ate the fruit Adam still didn't have to

      As for the names of the serpent I believe they are interchangeable but I will check out what you said

      The main point was God had a plan to redeem men even when they deliberately disobeyed

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      A couple of comments/ corrections -- ANy way you look at it ADam was the guilty one. He had authority over her as well as the rest of creation, but like AHab he did not exercise his authority but listened to his wife (not satan) even after getting a direct command from God. If satan had talked to adam he probably would have kicked him out of the garden. But he talked to the helper, the weaker vessel that adam was to protect.

      You use lucifer in place of satan. Saying lucifer is satan is false. Lucifer is

      King of Babylon - NOT SATAN. Check the scriptures by reading the whole chapter to get context - instead of believing the tales told by hireling preachers.

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile image

      Shirley Johnson 2 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      Yes, God has a plan. He had a plan for creation and man in the beginning of time. He had a plan for man at the "Fall". He had a plan when His Son died on the cross. He HAS a plan still in full force and action for us even today! God is great and greatly to be served.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thank you for the comments. I agree with the idea of timing and we font know how long it was before Adam and Eve finally fell for the temptation. The thing I was going for was that God had a plan all along

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile image

      Shirley Johnson 2 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      I'd also like to weigh in on the timing. You stated in your article that we don't know how long after creation was "finished" that the "Fall" actually happened. And, you are correct. Remember, things happen in God's perfect timing, not ours. But, on this same point, we also don't know how much time, or how little time, there was between the serpent (Satan) having his discussion with Eve and when Eve actually ate the fruit (whatever that fruit might have been). It might have been just a single minute or it could have been several days or more. Again, we just don't know. What happened between the tempting and the doing? Did Eve and Adam have a long discussion about the pros and cons of eating the fruit? Did Eve and Adam have a screaming match over what was right or wrong? Again, we just don't know. Further down in Genesis 3, it tells us that Adam was Eve when she ate the fruit, and that Adam ate of it [the fruit] also. Had Adam been with Eve the whole time the serpent and Eve were talking? Again, we just don't know. This would leave me to think, though, that the "Fall" was not just the fall of Adam or the Fall of Eve, it was the Fall of all Mankind. Adam sinned just as greatly as Eve. As a consequence, man received a curse specifically for a man, woman received a curse specifically for a woman and Satan became aware of his future at the end of time as we know it today.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very interesting and encouraging hub Lawrence. Often if I find myself in a real fix and can not see a way forward or clear solution I pick up the Bible and open it to a random page, at the same time asking God for guidance. Invariably I find the answers within that page.