I blame it on the noise of life. There’s frustration at every turn, loud music, kids screaming, echoes blaring, whistles tweeting and water rushing. It’s enough to make me want to eat something decadent.
I know you don’t understand because you don’t know where I am right now. I’ve just entered the wonderful indoor community pool where I go to walk in the water six days a week. The problem is, it’s Saturday and I didn’t make it during the morning hours. So it’s late afternoon and the world has come to the pool.
On top of all of this, I got a call back regarding a sticky situation I’ve been trying to resolve just as I walked into the pool area. There is no quiet place to take a phone call once you are in your bathing suit. And how can you tell a rather important person that you can’t talk now even though you’ve been waiting for the call all afternoon?
It’s enough to make a food-aholic want to cave. It’s the noise of life that I blame for this feeling that if I could just eat something everything would be oh so much better.
As I thought about this tempting pull, one name popped into my head, Eve. I asked myself, was it the noise of life that caused Eve to eat the forbidden fruit?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if she hadn’t eaten what she wasn’t supposed to and if every person down through the ages had resisted, I would have. I’m very sure of it. There has never been a bigger food addict than me. And I’m sure it would have been a cinnamon roll tree. I just know it.
The answer to my question, though, is no. Eve didn’t have the noise of life to deal with. Think about it. She lived in a Paradise fashioned by the Creator just for her and Adam. There were no other people. There were animals over whom they had authority. There was food provided for them. There was a lush and beautiful land.
They had fellowship with the God of the universe. He walked with them. He communicated with them. They knew what He said. They didn’t have to question if He said it. It was clear. They felt the Shekinah glory of His close presence. This was the way it was supposed to be. This was God’s plan.
A big part of this plan was that Adam and Eve, as the first man and woman, could choose this lifestyle. And if they did make the obviously correct choice, they could eat from the tree of life forever. That meant they would never taste of death, decay and disease. Their union with God would be unending.
He also gave angels free will. It didn’t go so well for some of the angels. Satan was once known as the angel of light. He rebelled against God and was cast from heaven along with a myriad of other angels.1
We blame a lot of what happened in the garden on the serpent, whom most people say is Satan. He plays a major role to be sure, but I don’t think he is the major source of noise for Eve. I believe her noise came from within and Satan picked up on it because he recognized the signs.
Remember Satan was the one who wanted to be like God.2 As we know from the story in Genesis, God told Adam he could eat freely from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of blessing and calamity.3
Just to make sure they were not confused about which was the right choice, God told Adam that if he did eat from this tree, he would die.4 Adam had no concept of death. He had not seen death. He knew the tree of life excluded him from death. I’m thinking this was no serious threat to Adam. He was saying, “Life is good. I’m going to live forever.”
Eve knew God’s command not to eat from this tree. She answer Satan’s question with what God had told Adam.5 Here is where I recognize that Eve had a lot of noise in her head. She had been wondering about this seemingly ridiculous command of God. She wondered why she and Adam had to stay away from this one tree. What was special about it? Was the fruit exclusively for God? Was it so delicious He wanted to keep it only for Himself?
Satan speaks to the questions that were bothering her. He couldn’t read her mind, but he put himself in her place. He had been there once. He wanted to be like God. So he used that to stir up the noise that he assumed was already building in her.
He tells her she won’t die, which contradicts what God said. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”6 The noise is at a crescendo now. She wants to be wise like God. Her brain can’t comprehend why God would keep this prize from her and Adam.
The fruit, which I can tells you probably looks like a cinnamon roll to me, is irresistible close up. She’d never been this close. She’d never breathed in it’s delectable aroma. She’d never seen the beauty of its appearance. She licked her lips. She knew the taste was something incredible—the delicacy of God, the one with all power and knowledge and wisdom.
It was the one forbidden thing in the garden. It was the one thing she had to have.
Adam was there for the whole thing. His internal noise might have been something like, “I have to eat it because if I don’t she is going to be like God and then where does that leave me?”
She ate it and he ate it and that was that. Satan was right about one thing they didn’t die, at least not right away.7
Most know the story. They immediately realize they are naked and they hide from God. I can really relate to this. There have been times I have eaten bags of candy sitting in my room watching television. I assume since no one else is in there, no one, even God, knows what I’m doing. It’s a false assurance because of course, God knows. stand unmasked, naked before Him. He knows every part of me. I cannot hide.
God asks Adam and Eve a question. He asks to hear their answer. He already knows. What does He want then?
I remember a time after God had dealt with me about my addiction to processed sugar and gluten. I went to a conference and ate a cookie. I hadn’t eaten a cookie in over a year. It tasted so good that I had to have another and another. Then I took some home supposedly for my husband who doesn’t eat cookies.
On the way home in the quiet of the car driving along a dark highway, it was as if God asked me a question: “What are you doing?” It’s not that an omniscient God doesn’t know the answer. He was not seeking to add information to His databank. He wanted to make me think. I said, “I’m throwing this cookie out the window.” And I did. I got home and handed the cookies over to my husband and told him to hide them from me.
Adam answers God’s question truthfully and confesses what they have done. I mean how else can one answer the One who already knows anyway?
God’s answer, “Why would you eat that?” OK, that’s my paraphrase. He really asks, “What have you done?”8 He doesn’t wait for their response because, of course, He, more than they, knows what they have done. He tells them their lives are going to be full of calamity and hard work. The blessings they have had will come to a close.9
God banishes Adam and Eve from Paradise and sets a cherabim with a flaming sword to guard the entrance. No more will mankind be able to eat of the tree of life. God does this for one reason and one reason only. He knows what a tragedy it would be for mankind to live forever in a fallen state never again to have the possibility of access to God or eternal life.10
God’s warning was true. By eating of the tree of knowledge, Adam and Eve ushered death into the world. It was death not only for themselves, but for all mankind. Their future did not look bright.
God knew mankind would fall. He prepared for it before time began. He gave us free will so we have a choice. We can choose to love Him. It certainly is not the same when someone is forced to love another. Control is not love.
I’ve heard many mothers tell their children, “You have to love me. I’m your mother.” I never want my children to feel obligated to love me. I want them to love me because they choose to love me.
God feels the same way about us. Eve messed up. Adam messed up. God, though, provided another Adam, one who will make a way for the first Adam to make a better choice. To choose Christ is to choose God, to choose to love.
It’s also about following God’s ways and His commands towards purpose and mission while we are here on earth.
God gave Adam and Eve a command to be fruitful and multiply. They carried out His command bearing children, even after their son Cain killed his brother Abel. After they messed up, they stayed true to God. They understood what they had and what they had lost.
Who could forget the Shekinah glory of God? Adam and Eve never forgot. And yet they lived on doing everything they knew to do to worship and reverently serve God.
It would be eons before Christ, as the second Adam, comes on the scene. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”11
The noise of temptation
We might have had a life of ease if Eve hadn’t listened to the tempter stirring up the noises inside her head.
However, we know one thing for certain, if we listen to the noises outside and inside our heads, we will not feel the close communion of the Master.
I have tasted of the glory of God on occasions. It comes usually as my face is on the floor of my prayer closet. I feel a blanketing presence of the Lord so strong I dare not look up and His presence slay me. When the glory leaves, there is a void that only time with Him can fill again.
I want to ask Eve, “Why would you eat that? You had all of Him, His very presence to walk with you, to engage in conversation. Why would you?”
I can’t blame Eve, though, I do the same thing myself.
His presence is with me always, but I don’t always feel the Shekinah glory that rests in moments of clarity and approval.
That kind of presence only comes when I surrender totally to Him. When I repent of every ounce of failure. When I openly lay myself on the altar and ask that He show me the other areas that need to be touched. When I rise and follow Him in obedience.
I know disobedience shuts down the presence of God. I’ve seen it in my own life.
For me, disobedience comes mainly in the form of eating what I know God has clearly told me not to eat. Of course your disobedience may take another form. Whatever form it takes, it is still disobedience.
It’s a question that looms large in my mind when I even think about disobedience. This question is one that guides me when friends I’m with longingly look in the direction of the restaurant with the biggest cinnamon rolls. I can say, “Sure we can eat there.” I can do that because I choose something from the menu that is OK between me and God.
It’s not that it is disobedience for others, but it is for me. I answer to God for what He has told me. When I hear the question, “Why would you eat that?” I know I won’t eat it because I want to feel to taste of the close communion with Him all of my days.
The question guides me to obedience and straight to His side.
I put aside the noise in my head and the noise that calls to me from the bakery case.
I do for one reason only. I do it for His touch and for nothing else.
NOTE: This is part of a new book I am working on titled, Hungry: Developing an Appetite for God. Would love to have your feedback. What is the thing that calls you to disobedience and what do you tell yourself in order to avoid it?
Get your copy of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor by clicking on the title. Also, grab a copy of Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. If you already have a copy of either the Study Guide or the memoir, I would be honored if you would go to the pages and share a few sentences in the reviews.
1 Luke 10:18, Rev. 12:7-9
2 Isaiah 14:12-14
3 Genesis 2:16-17 AMP
4 Genesis 2:17
5 Genesis 3:1-3
6 Genesis 3:5 NLT
7 Genesis 3:6
8 Genesis 3:13
9 Genesis 3:16-19
10 Genesis 3:22-24
11 1 Corinthians 15:21-22